Family’s pain after fatal crash fuelled by alcohol, speed
JOSEPH Stabler was living in north west Western Australia when he got a call telling him his father had been killed in a crash.
It was his grandfather who made the call, letting him know Antony Stabler had died at the intersection of Maroochydore Rd and the Bruce Hwy interchange on July 7, 2013.
Joseph detailed in a victim impact statement he and his two siblings' horrid experience of having to clean out his father's housing commission unit and the void that was left by his death.
The statement was tendered to Maroochydore District Court during the sentencing of crash driver Andrew George Johnson for causing his mate's death.
Johnson was sentenced to seven years in prison for driving at speeds of up to 130kmh in a 60kmh zone while drunk and crashing through a guardrail onto the large roundabout at the intersection.
Antony was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.
"I had a good relationship with dad considering his choice of lifestyle before he passed," Joseph said.
He had many questions in the wake of the crash.
"Some questions on how they ended up in dad's car to start with.
"And why when I went to clean his unit there was blood all over the walls in the lounge and kitchen.
"I understand these questions will not be answered as well as many more questions.
"Which is the way a sudden death works I suppose?"
He said he missed his father a lot.
"No matter what my issue he was a good friend, always a non-judgemental ear with a familiar but outside-the-box type of advice and outlook on life.
"For the last few years, even longer, I was the only one who still spoke to him regularly.
"I lived with him as a teenager, I allowed him to stay with me in stints at some time or another in every house I ever lived in on he coast.
"I believe his three kids would have been on his mind when he passed away because like most parents, in one way or another, we always were."
His aunt Jacki Day, who was Antony's sister, said in a statement she had moved from Noosa to Landsborough to be closer to her parents after the death.
She said they had been severely affected.
"As for me, my big brother was taken from me and although I have come to terms with his death I miss him and tears still flow," Ms Day said.
"Financially and emotionally my life has been greatly impacted and to this day I believe mum and dad would still be living in their retirement village; not a nursing home had my brother still been alive.
"It was too early for them to go into care but then it was too early for my big brother to die."