Mark Smith's partner Cheryl Stuner (right) and her mother Gwen Stuner watched as the woman responsible for a car crash which caused Mr Smith's death was sentenced to jail at Brisbane District Court.
Mark Smith's partner Cheryl Stuner (right) and her mother Gwen Stuner watched as the woman responsible for a car crash which caused Mr Smith's death was sentenced to jail at Brisbane District Court. Pamela Frost

Foreigners should face driving test: crash victim's partner

MARK Smith was killed in a head-on crash near Bundaberg last year and his partner said he would be "furious" if he knew that the woman responsible for his death received a four-year jail sentence.

Mr Smith, a concreter, was only supposed to work in Bundaberg for seven days while he was staying in Hervey Bay.

On his fifth work day on August 21 last year he and his colleague Steven Maher left Hervey Bay half an earlier than normal to travel to work and were killed in a head-on crash on Childers Rd near Bundaberg.

Mr Smith's partner Cheryl Stuner yesterday watched in the courtroom as the woman responsible for the men's deaths - Pui Shan Rachel Wong - was sentenced to jail.

Speaking outside court she said was happy it was over but that nothing could bring her partner back.

"I was happy with the court decision," she said.

"Nothing is going to change the facts to bring him back."

She spoke about how she and Mr Smith were only supposed to be in the Hervey Bay area for seven weeks.

"We were travelling around. Mark got work straight away and he was on his way to work when that accident happened."

Ms Stuner, who now lives in Ipswich, said she felt "a lot" of anger towards the woman responsible.

During the court hearing, Ms Wong's defence lawyer Harold Fong said his client wanted to formally apologise to the men's families and that she was remorseful.

But Ms Stuner said this did not make a difference to her.

"Not at all," she said.

"It's been a long year. It's a chapter closed."

She believes international drivers should be tested before they drive on Australian roads.

She said the past year had been difficult but that she had improved in the past three months and had returned to work.

Woman jailed for 'reckless' overtaking sheds tears

THE woman responsible for causing the death of two men near Bundaberg after crossing double lines on Childers Rd shed a few tears during her sentencing.

Pui Shan Rachel Wong, 31, of Hong Kong, was sentenced to four years jail, suspended after serving 15 months, for causing the head-on collision that killed Mark Smith and Steven Maher, who were travelling from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg for work on August 21 last year.

Brisbane District Court heard on Tuesday Ms Wong tried overtaking a car and a truck over double lines as the road approached a crest at about 6am.

The truck veered to the left side of the road but Ms Wong crashed head-on with the car that Mr Smith, 51, and Mr Maher, 41, were travelling in.

The court heard Ms Wong was on a working holiday visa and was not an experienced driver. She acquired a driver's licence the same year as the crash.

Ms Wong's defence lawyer Harold Fong said his client was remorseful for what happened that day.

He also said she wanted to formally apologise to the men's families.

"My client is fully remorseful since she has spent the last 12 months and seven days in custody she has sleepless nights, she dreams about the event," he said.

"She wakes knowing she is the cause of the loss of those lives."

Judge Brad Farr said Ms Wong drove recklessly when overtaking.

"One does not need to be an experienced driver to know that driving on the wrong side of the road approaching a crest of a hill is extremely dangerous," he said.

"Of course the outcome of your driving has been catastrophically tragic."

Ms Wong was sentenced to four years jail, suspended after serving 15 months. She has already been behind bars for about a year.

- APN NEWSDESK


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