Man jailed for fatal crash
THE young driver who caused a fatal accident in Dorrigo that claimed the life of Carol Miller in May has been sentenced to serve six years in prison but is expected to be released in 3.5 years.
Daniel Wayne Madden appeared in the Coffs Harbour District Court before Judge Ellis yesterday where he pleaded guilty to aggravated driving occasioning death.
The earliest the 24-year-old is due for release is May 29, 2014.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Ellis said “the criminality of this offence is the loss of life, an act that cannot be undone.”
“The only explanation for the way in which (Madden) was driving the vehicle and how he completely and utterly failed to see Carol Miller’s car, was the fact he was, to use a colloquial term, completely legless,” Judge Ellis said.
Madden was found to have a blood alcohol reading of 0.225 following the main street accident on Saturday May 15 at 11.50pm.
In court, Ms Miller’s fiance Scott Cardow, her parents, Allan and Noelene, and her sister, Kerry, had their victim impact statements read out.
Mr Cardow wrote of the constant reminders of his long-term partner in the house they called home.
“Losing Carol left a gap in my life, all our plans together ceased in Carol’s passing,” he stated.
He said he couldn’t stand to be in their home, but dreaded the thought of leaving.
Tragically before the accident that night he had just shared a drink with Carol in the Heritage Hotel.
She had gone to move her car, to avoid it being hit by Madden, who was seen driving erratically through the main street after a drinking binge.
As Carol reversed her Hyundai Excel into another park, Madden’s Nissan Skyline roared down Cudgery Street at what witnesses say was considerable speed.
The impact was heard by her friends and family, who were among the first on the scene.
“When I heard that noise, it will be with me forever, my heart sank.
“It was like some kind of nightmare . . . I can’t stop thinking why she and I couldn’t have done something differently to avoid her being there at that moment.”
Judge Ellis said the speed the Skyline was travelling could be gauged by witness accounts describing the impact ‘as an explosion’, or like a bomb going off.
Before Madden got behind the wheel other patrons said he was ‘loud and obnoxious’, ‘had trouble walking’, slurred speech and ‘could hardly keep his eyes open’.
He told friends ‘watch this I’m going to smoke this car’.
Referees in court, described Daniel Madden as a hardworking and loyal employee.
He is said to have suffered anxiety and depression before and after the accident, due to a battle his father was fighting against unnamed health problems.
Madden was sentenced to six years dating to November 29, 2016, with a non-parole period of three years six months and disqualified from driving for five years.