A driver has been sentenced after his ute rolled onto its roof and killed his 19-year-old passenger girlfriend in a horrific crash around Christmas.
Matthew Agius had tried to overtake a car along the Sturt Highway near Narrandera, in southern New South Wales, on December 21, 2018.
He tried to merge back into the lane when the wheels on his Toyota Hilux lifted off the road and the vehicle flipped onto its roof, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Emergency services found Agius underneath the car and his partner Casey Mallia hanging upside down by the seatbelt. She died from her injuries the following day.
Police facts state the pair had eaten dinner with Ms Mallia’s family earlier that night in Penrith, western Sydney, and were on their way to visit Agius’ family for a Mildura holiday.
Judge Ian Bourke called it an ‘appallingly tragic case’ in court before handing down a one year and 10 month sentence to Agius.
‘Nothing I can do will address the pain and suffering that has been experienced by her family and friends.’
Judge Bourke will decide in September if the sentence will be served in jail or in the community under Intensive Corrections Order.
‘No sentence I can impose will begin to account for the loss of Casey,’ he said.
Outside of court, Ms Mallia’s father said he agreed with the judge’s sentiment.
‘We’re living with this for the rest of our lives, and I don’t think a lot of kids out there understand the consequences,’ he said.
Around the time of the crash, he described his daughter as an aspiring child carer who was a ‘natural with kids’.
‘Kids were a magnet to Casey – we’re going through photos and I noticed her baby sister was always with her,’ he said.
‘She had a heart of gold.’