Woman killed ‘in the prime of her life’
A drug-affected truck driver with an undiagnosed sleeping disorder who killed a Perth grandmother when he ran a red light and ploughed into her vehicle has been handed almost seven years in prison.
David Lawrence West was travelling between 80 and 100km/h when he crashed his 40-tonne prime mover into a car driven by Moira Dunstall, 55, on Tonkin Highway in Forrestdale in April 2019.
The prime mover dragged Ms Dunstall's car along the highway for about 150 metres and the mother-of-three died at the scene.
West, 48, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in the WA Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Justice Paul Tottle said Ms Dunstall was "in the prime of her life" and "had much to look forward to".
Referring to the victim impact statements, Justice Tottle said Ms Dunstall was "the rock on which her family was built".
"The family described Ms Dunstall as a woman who was kind beyond reason, funny, intelligent, generous, loving, who served her community tirelessly and who was a faithful follower of Jesus," he said.
"A woman whose greatest joy in life was her grandchildren, who she will now never see grow up and who will never know her great love and kindness.
"Mr West, your offending took away Ms Dunstall's life and deprived her family of a loving wife, mother and grandmother."
A blood sample taken after the crash showed traces of methylamphetamine, which West had taken two days earlier, the court heard.
He also told police he had taken Viagra the night before, which he believed caused him to have a restless sleep, but said he felt fine the next day.
Justice Tottle found West's drug use and his undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea were both causes of his fatigue that contributed to the crash.
The court also heard West was on parole for meth possession with intent to sell or supply at the time of the collision.
In a letter, West's mother said her son apologised to Ms Dunstall's family for their loss and suffering.
West was sentenced to six years and nine months behind bars, and must serve at least four years and nine months before he can be eligible for parole.
His driver's licence will also be disqualified for three years upon his release.
Originally published as Woman killed 'in the prime of her life'