Friday, November 5, 2010
Seventy-five seconds to hoon's deadly crash and a young life gone
A DRUNK, unlicensed driver who ploughed into the front yard of a family home killing a six-year-old Sudanese refugee has been jailed for eight years.
Gary Edward Ryan was travelling up to 80km/h before the crash that killed Bangoang Tut and endangered the lives of his then pregnant mother and two other children playing in the yard of their Morwell home, in Victoria's southeast.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to culpable driving causing death and three counts of reckless conduct endangering death following the crash last December.
Wearing a pinstripe shirt, sweat pants and trainers, Ryan displayed little emotion as the sentence was handed down by Judge Liz Gaynor at the Victoria County Court today.
Judge Gaynor described Ryan's actions as "breathtaking in the extreme".
Outside court, Bangoang's mother Yomding Deng - who was pregnant when she was also struck and injured in the December 20 incident - had to be held up by members of her family.
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Bangoang's father Jacob, referring to Ryan's sentence, said "It's not enough", as he held up a picture of the boy.
Ryan has already served 321 days of his sentence. He was also fined $300 for unlicensed driving and $200 for driving an unregistered car. He had been convicted of one count of culpable driving causing death and three counts of reckless endangerment.
He will serve a minimum of six years before being eligible for parole.
His actions were captured in a chilling amateur video taken just seconds before the crash.
The exclusive footage shows the father of two showing off for the camera after drinking 12 stubbies of beer and home brew during six hours of pre-Christmas revelry in Morwell, Victoria, last year.
Ryan was three times over the legal blood-alcohol limit. He had already driven his car twice that day, including taking his two children home.
His behaviour prompted a 13-year-old girl at the party to take his keys from him, telling him: "You're going to kill somebody''.
But Ryan wanted to show his mates a hoon trick - the long burnout. The footage - which does not show the point of impact - appears to show that it is not the first time the stunt had been attempted in the residential street.
At the back of a car is a man with a stubbie in his mouth who lifts the rear end to allow the wheels to spin.
After performing a doughnut - circling the cameraman - Ryan, 25, smokes his bald tyres until he reaches a T-junction and turns from Symons Cres into Crinigan Rd.
Almost immediately he loses control of his Holden Berlina, hits two neighbours on the footpath before smashing through a fence at more than 40km/h.
Playing on the other side of the fence, in his own front yard, was six-year-old Bangoang Tut and his pregnant mother, Yomding Deng.
Both were hit, Bangoang dying in hospital.
It is known that in the chaotic seconds after the December 20 crash, Ryan got out of his car and begged "kill me''.
In the hours afterwards, police feared tensions could escalate as the grieving family was comforted by the Sudanese community.
Former major collision investigation unit sergeant Geoff Exton said police had to restore calm. "There was 100 people at the scene after it happened,'' he said.
"They believed it was a deliberate act and a murder. They believed it was racially based.''
He said the crash was among the worst he had seen.
"A 13-year-old girl took the keys off him and told him he was going to kill somebody,'' Mr Exton said.
"Because the car wasn't smoking enough, he throws the car side to side.
"Then it goes through the fence. (After the crash) everyone just runs around.''
Ryan, for his part, has shown remorse for his actions and has not wavered from accepting the most severe charges against him.
But Ms Deng said in a victim impact statement, submitted to a court last month, that her family was deeply traumatised.
"When my husband leaves (the house) they (the children) feel very frightened,'' she said.
"I miss my Bangoang very much. I was very young when I had Bangoang.
"He helped me grow up. He is very special as my first-born.
"Sometimes I wish I was in Sudan and Bangoang would not be killed.''
Bangoang's father, Jacob, said Ryan had ruined their lives. "This country has now turned into a prison for me and my family,'' he wrote.
"He ruined our lives, our hope for this country and a lot of opportunity. After what we have been through, we thought our lives here would be so much better.''
Ryan, who will today be sentenced, has pleaded guilty to one count of culpable driving and three of reckless conduct endangering life.
No charges were laid against the other men captured on camera.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/seventy-five-seconds-to-hoons-deadly-crash-and-a-young-life-gone/story-e6frfkvr-1225948090935#ixzz14MhOUjYe