THE driver responsible for a Bendigo crash that killed a teen and seriously injured another has been jailed for more than nine years.
Timothy Joel Werps, 19, was sentenced in the County Court on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to culpable driving causing Jye Eiffert's death and negligent driving causing serious injury to an 18-year-old man.
Judge John Smallwood said while Werps was still a young and immature man, he needed to be punished for the "tragic" crash.
"Boys your age tend to think that they're bulletproof," the judge said. "In circumstances where alcohol, drugs, and cars come together, dreadful situations like this exist."
About 3.11am on September 28 last year, Werps lost control of his Holden Commodore on McCrae Street, crashing into a power pole, a tree, and two fences.
Werps, who held a probationary licence, had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis in the hours before the crash.
Jye Eiffert was seated in the back seat of the Commodore, while the other 18-year-old man was in the front passenger seat.
The 16-year-old died at the scene, despite efforts from witnesses and paramedics.
The 18-year-old had to be extracted from the car. He was taken to a Melbourne hospital with life-threatening injuries including a severe traumatic brain injury, a bruised heart, and a broken pelvis.
Werps escaped with only minor injuries. He originally denied driving the car before telling police the truth.
A breath test showed Werps had a blood alcohol reading of 0.101 at the scene of the crash.
A blood sample taken at the Bendigo Hospital later that morning showed there was cannabis in his system and a blood alcohol reading of 0.164.
Collision reconstruction experts determined that in the two seconds before the crash, Werps was travelling about 160km/h in a 60km/h zone.
At the time of impact, the car was travelling somewhere between 103km/h and 131km/h.
Eleven victim impact statements were read to the County Court on Wednesday.
Jye Eiffert's father, mother, and sister each spoke of their grief while holding a box containing their loved one's ashes.
They said that Jye was only weeks out from his 17th birthday when the Holden Commodore he was travelling in crashed on McCrae Street.
"On his 17th birthday, we were called to collect his ashes from the funeral home," Jye's mother Kaylene Wharton told the court.
"Jye deserved so much better. My family is devastated. Our lives will never be as they were."
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Smallwood said it was clear that Jye was a well-liked and vibrant person who was sorely missed by his family, friends, and the broader community.
The judge also noted that the second passenger, the 18-year-old man, would also have to live with the serious injuries for the rest of his life.
Judge Smallwood said while the victim impact statements spoke of a lack of remorse from Werps, he did accept the 19-year-old was remorseful for his crimes and it was his bail conditions that prevented him from contacting the families and friends.
The judge said while Werps was young and immature, he had remained abstinent from drugs and complied well with bail over the past year.
Judge Smallwood said Werps' rehabilitation prospects had to be considered good, although that would be a matter for the parole board.
The judge said he needed to be careful not to impose a crushing jail term. But he noted that Jye's family and friends had been crushed by Werps' actions.
Judge Smallwood convicted and sentenced Werps to nine years and three months in jail, with a non-parole period of five years and nine months. His 68 days of pre-sentence detention were reckoned as served.
The judge recommended that Werps spend the first few years of his sentence in youth justice detention, given his age and lack of maturity.
Werps' licence was also cancelled and he was disqualified from driving for five years.
If Werps did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for 13 years with a non-parole period of nine years.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.