Bundaberg fruit picker gets two years over car crash death
QUEENSLAND's highest court has upheld a jail sentence for a Bundaberg fruit picker who killed his passenger in a car crash after failing to give way.
Jia-Qing Liu, 24, was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended after he had served three months behind bars, and was disqualified from driving for three years.
He argued in Queensland Court of Appeal that the actual period of custody was manifestly excessive.
Liu, who was born in Taiwan, was on a working holiday in Australia with his wife.
They and their passenger, who died in the crash, were on their way to work on March 9, 2015, as fruit pickers near Bundaberg when they crashed at an intersection in a 100kmh zone.
Justice Anthe Philippides, in a judgment published on Monday, said the sentence imposed "was required to reflect denunciation of the conduct involved" and to deter others.
"An aspect of deterrence was ensuring that visitors to Australia knew and appreciated the road rules," he said.
The judgment detailed how Liu failed to give way as he entered the intersection and collided with another vehicle.
Liu's passenger died from head injuries sustained in the collision.
Liu also suffered significant injuries and his wife went to hospital but was released the next day.
The driver of the other vehicle was not injured, though his passenger suffered a chipped thumb bone and other superficial injuries.
While Liu could not offer an explanation of what occurred because of his head injuries, Justice Philippides said the sentencing judge noted "unfamiliarity with the road" and "Australian driving conditions" provided some explanation for not understanding the road sign.
"In imposing sentence, the sentencing judge observed that, while the road markings were unclear at the time, there was a prominently displayed and clearly marked give way sign which (Liu) had failed to obey," it read.
"The sentencing judge observed that, as there was no evidence of braking or an attempt to stop, it appeared the applicant either did not see the give way sign or did not understand its effect." - ARM NEWSDESK