Drunk driver jailed for pedes­trian death

Southern Telegraph - - News - Shan­non Hamp­ton

A drunk driver who was trav­el­ling at twice the speed limit when he lost con­trol of a car, plough­ing into and killing a pedes­trian, has been jailed for 41⁄2 years.

Mother-of-two Peta Anne Agostinelli, 62, was walk­ing along a foot­path on Ar­ca­dia Drive in Shoal­wa­ter on March 24 when she was hit by the out-of­con­trol car be­ing driven by 27year-old Shane Lau­rence Walsh. Walsh was trav­el­ling at

107km/h in a 50km/h zone in the sec­onds be­fore the fa­tal crash and at 67km/h when he struck Ms Agostinelli, who died of mul­ti­ple in­juries at the scene.

The car­pen­ter had ear­lier been drink­ing at the Port Kennedy Tav­ern and recorded a blood al­co­hol read­ing of 0.193 — al­most four times the le­gal driv­ing limit.

Walsh’s lawyer, Sea­mus Raf­ferty, said his client ac­cepted he “cal­lously” showed a “self­ish dis­re­gard” for peo­ple on and near the road that night and “can­not un­der­stand why he drove on that par­tic­u­lar day”.

Mr Raf­ferty said Walsh had writ­ten a let­ter to Ms Agostinelli’s fam­ily that re­flected the “ut­ter re­morse” he felt for caus­ing her death.

But pros­e­cu­tor James Mac­tag­gart de­scribed Walsh’s be­hav­iour as “out­ra­geous”, say­ing he know­ingly drove in a “state of sig­nif­i­cant in­tox­i­ca­tion” be­fore floor­ing the ac­cel­er­a­tor and hit­ting an in­no­cent pedes­trian.

Jus­tice Jeremy Curthoys said Walsh was highly in­tox­i­cated and had no rea­son to be be­hind the wheel other than “to go for a drive”. He must serve at least 21⁄2 years be­hind bars be­fore be­com­ing el­i­gi­ble for pa­role.

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