Tragedy haunts driver
Man jailed for fatal mistake
IT STARTED as an act of kindness.
Kosta Jim Janouris went to collect his girlfriend and her mother after they’d been in a car accident.
But soon after, Janouris crashed his own car. And his girlfriend’s mother Maria Jimenez was dead.
The crash happened when Janouris, then 23, failed to give way at the New England Highway and Wallangarra Rd intersection near Stanthorpe.
Brisbane District Court heard Janouris’s girlfriend recalled passing the sign welcoming visitors to Stanthorpe.
Janouris said he should take a photo because his grandparents had lived in the town.
His girlfriend then recalled looking up and telling Janouris: “It’s give way, it’s give way.”
Judge John Coker said there was “evidence of braking and then acceleration” as Janouris tried to get through the intersection.
A 63-year-old truck driver approaching “applied his brakes but it was too late,” Judge Coker said.
“There was no impediment to the view. Unfortunately, as is also abundantly clear, you failed to give way,” the judge told Janouris on Thursday.
The court heard Janouris had since said he wished it was him and not Ms Jimenez who died that day in July 2016.
Janouris also experienced flashbacks and nightmares and voiced extreme remorse.
He was charged with dangerous driving causing death, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail.
Judge Coker said the courts had established it would take a “rare case indeed” to avoid a jail for the crime.
So despite Janouris’s youth and “previous good character” the judge said he had to consider a jail term.
Janouris was jailed for twoand-a-half years but the sentence will be suspended after eight months.
He was banned from driving for two years.
DEVASTATING: Kosta Jim Janouris has been sentenced over the fatal crash at the New England Hwy and Wallangarra Rd intersection near Stanthorpe.