Ballarat bus driver Lionel Calf, who caused the deaths of two woman after a bus crash near Avoca in 2017, has avoided immediate imprisonment.
The 71-year-old was convicted and sentenced to a three-year community corrections order at the County Court in Ballarat on Friday.
Calf, of Sebastopol, was driving 27 passengers on board a Ballarat Coachlines bus back to Ballarat after a two-day lawn bowls tournament in Mildura on October 14, 2017.
The bus was travelling south on the Sunraysia Highway near Avoca when it ran off the road on a right-hand bend and rolled at 3.04pm.
The crash killed Creswick woman Carmel Mitchell, 71, and Beaufort woman Ethel Glenister, 87, and seriously injured six other women.
Halfway through a trial held at the County Court in Ballarat, Calf pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and six counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury over the deadly crash.
The prosecution argued Calf had enough time to steer the bus back onto the road after it hit the gravel and avoid the fatal crash, while the defence said Calf could not have rectified the coach once it hit the gravel.
Judge Wendy Wilmoth said although there were differences in opinion, there was no dispute the tragic crash was caused by Calf's "momentarily inattention".
Calf will be required to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work and his driver's licence was cancelled for 18 months.
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