Family slams sentence after grandmother run down
THE family of a Logan grandmother killed by an inattentive driver while on her morning run have called for mandatory drug testing after all road accidents.
Ratan Singh Sandip, 25, in November pleaded guilty in the Beenleigh District Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mt Warren Park mother-of-three Beth Eden, 60, on November 27, 2018.
He was today sentenced to thee years' jail by the same court.
The sentence will be suspended after 10 months have been served behind bars.
But Ms Eden's family have slammed the penalty, vowing to campaign for roadside drug tests for all drivers involved in accidents after it can be revealed Sandip was not drug tested following the crash.
"It's (the sentence) very disappointing," Ms Eden's daughter Rebekah Eden told The Courier-Mail.
"How are we meant to deter people from driving in such a way if we are only giving these sorts of sentences where the consequences are so small? If previous cases have low sentences, people will just continue to receive low sentences, so something has to change.
"People will keep doing this and countless families will have to go through what we have gone through.
"People need to recognise cars are weapons and justice system needs to recognise that too."
During the hearing, the court heard there was no clear explanation as to why Sandip veered off the road and hit Ms Eden.
Airbag data from Sandip's car, which was taken after the crash showed he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Other evidence indicated he did not hit the breaks prior to the collision with the woman and a fence, the court heard.
He also told officers at the scene he was "stressed" and could possible have been looking away from the road to find his wallet.
The court found Sandip was inattentive for a prolonged period while driving but had not deliberately hit the woman.
He was not speeding or drunk but was not drug tested at the scene, the court heard.
"One things we will never know for sure it's whether the driver was on drugs," Rebekah Eden said on Tuesday.
"Drug tests should be mandatory after incidents like this and we will be campaigning to make sure the drug tests are performed by police if there has been a road accident.
"He (Sandip) might not have drugs in his system but we will never know."
Defence solicitor Andrew Bale told the court Sandip had called triple-0 after the crash but didn't realise he had hit Ms Eden until a nearby pedestrian told him.
In court today, Sandip read an apology letter from the dock to the grandmother's family saying "not a day goes by where I don't think about" what happened.
He said he wished he could "take back" the crash that killed Ms Eden.
Outside court, Mr Bale said the crash was a tragedy for both Ms Eden's family and Sandip.
"The consequences are enormous for both parties. Not only has an innocent lady lost her life but Sandip will have to live with the consequences of his actions," he said.
After Sandip was charged over the death of Ms Eden, who was jogging on the footpath nearby her home, he was caught at the Brisbane International Airport trying to board a flight out of the country.
The court heard despite the allegation Sandip had fled to India following the incident, there was evidence has father previously had asked him to return to the country because of his unstable mental health.
Sandip, who studied information technology, had also applied for a skilled migrant visa in Australia and was looking for work at the time Ms Eden was killed.