Drug-driver in jail after crash

Fatal accident on the Bruce Highway 10km south of Torbanlea.
Fatal accident on the Bruce Highway 10km south of Torbanlea. Karleila Thomsen

A GIN GIN woman says her family is still recovering from a crash that killed her daughter's partner, after the drug-affected driver was sentenced to six years in jail.

Maryborough District Court was told David Schafer, 24, was carrying Ross Del-Carlo, Mr Del-Carlo's pregnant partner Sharon Scott, the couple's two-year-old son and a female friend, as they travelled from Gin Gin to Brisbane on November 17, 2008.

However, they only made it as far as Torbanlea before Schafer fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the car into a tree. Mr Del-Carlo was killed on impact, while Ms Scott and her toddler were severely injured. Schafer and the female friend escaped with minor injuries.

Ms Scott's mother, Jan Scott, told the NewsMail her daughter gave birth to Mr Del-Carlo's daughter, Ledina, now a healthy two-year-old, several months after the crash.

“But (Ledina) will never know her dad, and one day she will ask,” Jan said.

Her grandson Peter, who suffered a cracked skull, broken arm and leg injuries in the horrific smash, has also recovered well but does not remember his father.

“It was a real struggle (after the crash), but it was definitely hardest for the kids,” she said.

Prosecutor Ron Swanwick told the court that Schafer, who admitted he “smoked a bit of weed and had a bit of speed” the night before, was probably in the withdrawal phase when the accident happened.

Defence barrister Lars Falcongreen told the court Schafer had spiralled into depression after the accident.

Schafer pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death while affected by an intoxicating substance and was sentenced to six years imprisonment, eligible for parole in 2011.

Judge Hugh Botting declared 406 days of pre-sentence custody as time already served. Schafer's licence was disqualified for a total of seven years.

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