Rochester drink-driver facing possible prison sentence after plea

A ROCHESTER man could be jailed for culpable driving after drink-driving and losing control of his car in a 2009 crash that killed his best friend.

Brandon McCraw, 23, was alcohol-affected and was believed to be driving at excessive speeds when he came off a gravel road in Leitchville and smashed into two trees.

McCraw’s friend Leigh Williams was the only passenger in the car at the time. He was flown to Melbourne Hospital but died as a result of the injuries.

McCraw pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of culpable driving and could now face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Prosecuting in the Bendigo County Court yesterday, Peter Jones said McCraw was driving recklessly on a gravel surface in Station Break, near the state forest.

The court heard that McCraw had met up with friends earlier in the day and had picked up Mr Williams, before drinking a number of stubbies of beer in the car.

The prosecution said he was driving about 69km/h at the time of the crash.

McCraw’s blood alcohol level was taken a number of hours later and returned a reading of 0.112.

In a statement heard in court, Mr Williams’ mother Kaylene said she had been struck down by grief.

“Part of my heart has been lost and I’ll never be the same. I’ve had a lot of time off work due to pressure and stress... the rest of my family have changed employers and three out of four have gone interstate.

“My anger at the accused is over the fact he has never said sorry to me.”

Defence lawyer Tim Sowden said McCraw was fully aware of the impact on the victim’s family.

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