Tragedy haunts driver

Man jailed for fa­tal mis­take

Warwick Daily News - - News - JOHN WEEKES

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.

Photo: Liana Turner

DEV­AS­TAT­ING: Kosta Jim Janouris has been sen­tenced over the fa­tal crash at the New Eng­land Hwy and Wal­lan­garra Rd in­ter­sec­tion near Stan­thorpe.

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