Family fights for law change after fatal crash at Tiaro

Siblings Daniel and Sarah Walker.
Siblings Daniel and Sarah Walker. Contributed

TRISHA Mabley's son had to learn how to walk again after he was seriously injured in a crash which claimed the lives of two of his closest friends.

Now she has started the fight for tougher penalties for those charged with driving without due care and attention.

Ms Mabley was in Maryborough Magistrates Court this week to see the sentencing of the man responsible for the crash that killed siblings Sarah, 30, and Daniel Walker, 22.

The crash also seriously injured her son, Peter Knowles, and Sarah's 14-year-old son, Sam.

Donald George Gayler, 66, was fined $3000 and had his licence suspended for three months after he was charged with driving without due care and attention as a result of the Easter Monday crash.

Ms Mabley said that wasn't good enough.

She is fighting for what she has called Walkers Law, in honour of Sarah and Daniel, and would mean harsher penalties for those who are charged with driving with due care and attention in cases which have resulted in death or serious injury.

"We need to change the laws," she said.

Fighting alongside her is the mother of Sarah and Daniel, Kerri Walker, and Sarah's fiance, Victor Bosley.

Both spoke out about the need for tougher penalties in the wake of this week's court sentencing, with Ms Walker saying they were "on a mission".

Ms Mabley has since started a Facebook page called Walkers Law to Change the Law.

More than 200 people have joined the group so far, many voicing their support to get the laws changed.

Ms Mabley said there is a gap in Queensland's legislation, with Mr Bosley adding there needs to be an upgraded charges of driving without due care and attention resulting in death.

Ms Mabley said the law already existed in other states.

Last year the Department of Transport and Main Roads confirmed it was currently reviewing the penalties for careless driving offences that resulted in death or grievous bodily harm.

A spokesman from the department said the government had not made a final decision on the progression of amendments.

"Timing of the decision is subject to government approvals and parliamentary processes," he said.

Following the inquest into the death of Audrey Ann Dow, the State Coroner recommended including a circumstance of aggravation for drivers who caused death or grievous bodily harm in the commission of a careless driving offence.

Last year a spokesman from the department told the Chronicle that Transport and Main Roads was "committed to taking steps to achieve our vision of zero deaths and injuries on our roads".

"The existing maximum penalties for careless driving offences are 40 penalty units ($4876) or six months' imprisonment," he said.

"As a result, we are currently reviewing the penalties for careless driving offences that result in death or grievous bodily harm."


Topics:  fatal crash fccrash fraesr coast tiaro

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