Suspended sentence over fatal car crash

A WOMAN who crashed her car, killing her young son, received a suspended jail sentence on Thursday after Newcastle District Court heard there was insufficient evidence to prove she was using her mobile phone at the time.

The mother, who cannot be identified, sent three text messages and received two from her partner in the 10 minutes before the crash, but the prosecution was unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she was using the phone at the time her car crossed to the wrong side of the road, Judge Robert Toner heard.

The car, which was carrying the woman’s baby as well as the toddler, crashed into the side of a truck on Limeburners Creek Road at Twelve Mile Creek on the morning of October 3, 2010.

The truckdriver had seen the woman’s car approaching after it veered right, forcing the truckdriver to veer off the shoulder of the road, a statement of facts said.

The truck rolled after the car slammed into its side and the Holden Commodore went into a spin.

The mother emerged moments later clutching the baby and screaming ‘‘He’s going to die, he’s going to die’’.

The toddler died before the Westpac rescue helicopter was able to fly him to John Hunter Hospital.

She pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death and wept throughout much of yesterday’s sentencing hearing.

Her barrister John Fitzgerald said as well as the trauma of losing her son, she had also suffered serious stomach injuries that required a number of operations in the week after the crash.

He said she was unable to explain how the crash occurred.

Judge Toner sentenced her to a two-year suspended jail sentence while she was automatically disqualified from driving for three years.