A man whose driving cut a "beautiful family of four in half" after a horrific collision at Kingston has been sentenced to spend time in jail.
Michael Brent Knowler, 60, appeared via video link from custody at the County Court in Ballarat for sentencing on Tuesday morning.
He had previously pleaded guilty to three charges - two counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of dangerous driving causing serious injury.
Almost two years ago, on December 29, 2019, Knowler had been driving a Kenworth prime mover on Church Parade at Kingston.
Driving towards a friend's home at Broomfield, he failed to give way at the Allendale-Kingston Road intersection and collided with a Toyota RAV4.
The impact of the collision caused the car, with a young family inside, to flip and roll multiple times.
The West family, including parents Anthony and Jess, their children Deighton and Oakley and the family dog, had been travelling towards Ballarat when the collision occurred.
Ms West, 37, and five-year-old Deighton died at the scene, while Oakley was airlifted to the Royal Children's Hospital with serious injuries.
Mr West was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital with minor injuries.
The court heard that Knowler had been cooperative with police and had tested negative for drugs and alcohol.
However, the experienced driver had conceded to police that he was unfamiliar with the area and intersection and had taken his eyes off the road to check the GPS on his phone.
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Knowler admitted he was "probably travelling too fast" when he first saw the give way sign and did not realise until the point he had to stop.
He also said he did not see the car approaching due to trees on the right hand side of the road.
Knowler could be seen wiping tears from his eyes or sitting with his head in his hands as Judge Georgiou handed down his sentence.
The judge sentenced Knowler to a total effective sentence of 31 months in prison, with a non-parole period of 14 months.
If he had not pleaded guilty he would have received 3 years and 8 months in prison with a non-parole period of 26 months.
Knowler has been in custody on remand for 316 days, not including today.
His licence was cancelled and disqualified from 18 months.
More to come.
This story originally appeared on the Ballarat Courier.
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