A drug driver who killed his partner after losing control while driving more than 40mph over the border has been jailed for four years.
Grantley Dean Penny, 31, was driving his aunt’s Hyundai Accent on September 1 last year when he lost control of the car and smashed into a power pole in Lesmurdie, Perth.
His partner Darryleen Koolmatrie, 23, was killed in the crash just three weeks after she gave birth to their baby boy, named Grantley after his father.
She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead, while Penny suffered only minor injuries.
Penny was sentenced to four years in prison and must serve at least two years before he is eligible for parole. He has also been disqualified from driving for four years.
Grantley Dean Penny, 31, was driving his aunt’s Hyundai Accent on September 1 last year when he crashed
His partner Darryleen Koolmatrie, 23, was killed in the crash, just three weeks after she gave birth to their baby boy
Penny was driving 112km/h in a 70km/h zone at 11.20am on the morning of the accident and lost control of the car.
It slid sideways for about 50 meters before slamming into a concrete median strip and flying through the air.
The passenger side then smashed into the wooden pole, snapping it in half.
It had been raining before the crash and it was later revealed that the car’s left front and right rear tires were below the minimum safe tread depth.
Penny told the court he did not know the condition of the tires before the crash.
His license had also been expired for four years at the time of the crash, tests revealed he had been driving with a combination of prescription drugs and marijuana in his system.
‘I remember coming around the corner and it just slid out, just slid out, you know? The tires were bald and I couldn’t bring it back, Penny said after the crash, according to police WA today.
His lawyer Patti Chong said the crash was ‘a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions’.
“The criminal didn’t just kill any innocent bystander or victim, he killed the love of his life, the mother of his three-month-old son,” she said.
His license had been expired for four years at the time of the accident and tests showed he had been driving with a combination of prescription drugs and cannabis in his system
Penny was doing 112 km/h in a 70 km/h zone at 11.20 on the morning after the accident and lost control of the car
“It was reckless of him to drive when his license was suspended. It was reckless of him to get into a car that was less than roadworthy, with tires below the legal tread limit.
“It was reckless of him to drive at the speed he did down a steep hill in wet conditions. It was a tragedy just waiting to happen and it happened.’
She also told the court that the stretch of road where Penny had crashed had seen 25 other accidents that year and road safety in the area was incredibly poor.
Judge Charlotte Wallace said Penny was “genuinely remorseful and consumed by your own grief” and had shown empathy for the victim’s family.
‘Your driving had devastating consequences. You took a human life, she said.
‘I accept that of course it was never your intention to kill or even injure your partner by driving in the way you did.
‘However, that is inevitably the case when someone is convicted of this type of offence.’
In response, Joyleen Koolmatrie described her granddaughter as ‘a compassionate young woman’, while her father John Blurton said his life was ’empty and lonely’ without his daughter.
While outside court, he described the sentence as ‘disgusting’.
‘He only got two years (before parole). I have a whole life, his son has a whole life,” he said.
Blurton said he had been reunited with his daughter after 20 years and was ‘really happy’.
“Then suddenly, three years later, she was taken away,” he said.