Jail for crash death


A DRUNKEN driver who killed a friend and seriously injured two others at Tootgarook last year has been sentenced to more than 12 years’ jail.

Brandon Phongthaihong, now 22, had drunk beer and bourbon before the incident at the intersection of Marshall and Field streets, 1.15am, 12 April.

His friend, 17-year-old Timothy Hocking, of McCrae, died and three other 17-year-olds, from McCrae and Capel Sound, were injured when the Mazda CX3 crashed through a roundabout and into a tree.

Phongthaihong had pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to culpable driving causing death, two counts of negligently causing serious injury, and conduct endangering life.

He was sentenced to 12 years and nine months’ jail, with a non-parole period of eight years nine months. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 years.

The court was told Phongthaihong likely had a blood alcohol reading of 0.209-0.229, or more than four times the legal limit.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 31 March 2020


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