Disqualified driver faces Coronial Court
THE Whitsunday man responsible for a fatal traffic crash at Mackay Harbour in July 2013, appeared at a Coronial Inquest in Mackay this week.
Aaron Kite has 11 driving suspensions and four driving disqualifications on his traffic history and was driving while disqualified at the time of the head-on collision that killed Mackay grandmother Audrey Dow.
Nonetheless, this couldn't be taken into account when he was sentenced for careless driving in September last year.
Under Queensland law, being a disqualified or suspended driver isn't a circumstance of aggravation if charged over a traffic crash that results in death or grievous bodily harm.
As a result, Aaron Kite was fined $4000 and disqualified from driving for two years.
There was also no charge against him relating to causing death or grievous bodily harm.
At Tuesday's inquest Mrs Dow's family made a heartfelt plea to the Central Queensland Coroner to recommend changes to the law for careless, disqualified or suspended drivers.
Still reeling over her sudden and tragic death, her family said it was "a travesty" the man responsible for the fatal traffic crash received "what we feel is an inadequate sentence".
"He may not have set out to kill someone but the fact is his careless actions and blatant disregard for his disqualification still did kill someone," Mrs Dow's daughter Angela Meiklejohn told the Coronial Court.
Aaron Kite knew he was disqualified from driving by a court order when he got behind the wheel.
Forensic evidence suggested the vehicle he was driving drifted at least a metre into the incorrect lane, striking the oncoming car.
Further forensic evidence also indicated his seat belt wasn't secured at the time of the crash.
In a voice recording between a first response officer and Kite, he said numerous times he couldn't recall the crash as he was "dazed" from being struck by the airbag.
Mr O'Connell adjourned the inquest for about one month to allow him to collate his findings.