Driver jailed for fatal crash that killed Sauer sisters
AN ANDERGROVE man will spend seven months in jail for a three-car highway collision that killed two young sisters.
Alysha and Emilee Sauer, aged nine and seven, died after their mother's vehicle was struck from behind by a truck and, as a result, was pushed into oncoming traffic and collided with a ute.
Andrea Sauer was critically injured in the crash and the male driver of the ute, Lee Shaw, also sustained serious injuries that constituted grievous bodily harm.
Alan John Cush, 59, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm.
His lawyer argued it was "momentary inattention" and that Cush had only seen Ms Sauer's vehicle at the last moment.
In a contested sentence in the District Court in Mackay yesterday crown prosecutor Judy Geary submitted that on the evidence Ms Sauer's vehicle was visible up to 150 metres away and Cush should have seen it.
The court was told that since the crash Mr Shaw "still wonders" if he could have avoided colliding with Ms Sauer.
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The dangerous driving constituted Cush's failure to pay proper care and attention to the road ahead and failure to see Ms Sauer's vehicle.
Judge Brad Farr SC described the consequences of the crash as "catastrophic".
Cush has a serious traffic history that included multiple demerit point licence suspensions dating back to 1994, a driving disqualification in 2009 and a speeding offence last year, which was after the fatal crash.
"One would have thought that your driving at that stage would have been impeccable," Judge Farr said.
However, Judge Farr accepted that it was a case of momentary inattention, but that it was "momentary inattention of a most serious kind".
Cush was jailed for two and a half years, to be suspended after serving seven months.
He was convicted and disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for three years.