A TEENAGER driver who lost control of her car, hitting a tree and killing her passenger after trying to avoid potholes, has escaped jail after being sentenced in Lithgow Court.
Tare Lee Stewart, now 19, of Fish Parade, appeared before magistrate Cate Follent in Lithgow Local Court on Friday for sentencing in relation to the fatal crash, which killed a 13-year-old girl and injured two others.
Stewart had previously pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning death and two counts of causing bodily harm by misconduct in charge of a motor vehicle following the crash in October 2018.
Last Monday, Stewart's solicitor Mason Manwaring submitted to the court it was a difficult case where an adult, but still a young person, was responsible for the death of another young person.
He said his client, as a very inexperienced driver on a dirt road, had attempted to manoeuvre around potholes.
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She went to the wrong side of the road and when coming back to the right side, lost control of the vehicle.
"No doubt the inexperience of a red P-plate driver on a dirt road is partly to blame."
He said it was a mistake in judgment, which has had an horrific result for the victim and her family and friends.
Mr Manwaring said the matter lacked all the typical aggravating features often seen by the courts such as speeding, and submitted the Section 5 threshold (where no sentencing option, other then full time custody, is available to the court) had not been crossed.
While the crown submitted the Section 5 threshold had been crossed, Mr Manwaring disagreed, saying a community-based sentencing option was appropriate.
On Friday, Ms Follent convicted Stewart and sentenced her to an Intensive Correction Order for a period of three years to commence on November 15, 2019.
Stewart was also disqualified from holding a driver's/rider's licence for three years from November, 15, 2019.
Ms Follent ordered Section 206B of the Road Transport Act 2013 to apply in the matter.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article stated Tara Lee Stewart had been handed an 18-month Community Corrections Order. The incorrect information had been provided to the Western Advocate by Courts NSW media unit.
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