Billy-Jo Salter, 24, has been sentenced to three years and nine months’ jail before the County Court, having pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and destruction of evidence.
Salter was 21-years-old when he caused the death of 62-year-old Raymond Meadows and guide dog Gerry as he was driving along the Calder Highway at Wedderburn in North Western Victoria about 6.30am on June 2, 2019.
The court heard it was dark but Mr Meadows was wearing a high-vis vest and a backpack with flashing lights as he and his dog walked along the shoulder of the road, heading to the gym.
The dog died almost straight after being hit by Salter’s car while Mr Meadows died on the way to hospital.
Salter stopped at the scene and was not found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
He removed the memory card from his dashcam at the scene and later had his friend destroy it.
For months he told police Mr Meadows and his dog had been on the road, but analysis of the crash scene proved they had been on the bitumen shoulder by the road.
Investigations revealed Salter had not applied the brakes or steered the car in the five seconds before the crash, using cruise control to travel at 94km/h on the straight road where the speed limit is 100km/h.
Judge Rosemary Carlin said Salter’s actions had shown “a total abdication” of his responsibility as a driver.
“To drive for five seconds at that sped in the dark without exerting any control at all over your car and without keeping a proper lookout for whatever reason is highly irresponsible and risky behaviour,” she said.
Judge Carlin said Salter’s lies about what had happened any destruction of the dash cam footage, making the reason for the collision “known only to him”, had deprived Mr Meadow’s family of know what had happened.
“You have refused to tell the truth about what happened and you destroyed the only evidence,” she said.
Judge Carlin said the destruction of the footage “was serious, planned offending”.
The court heard Salter had suffered an abusive childhood, was experiencing health issues and lived with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
He was sentenced to a non-parole period of two years and three months’ jail.