Phillip Kay was seriously injured and his wife Rhonda was killed in a crash at Tiaro.
Phillip Kay was seriously injured and his wife Rhonda was killed in a crash at Tiaro.

Family frustrated by fatal crash driver’s sentence

A FAMILY is determined to fight for tougher penalties for drivers who cause fatal crashes after beloved wife and mum Rhonda Kay was killed at Tiaro.

Mrs Kay's family was at Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday to see Xi Ling, 26, sentenced after pleading guilty to one charge of careless driving causing death.

He lost his licence for six months and was given a three-month suspended prison sentence, operational for 18 months.

But while he expressed his remorse in and outside court on Tuesday, the Kay family were still disappointed by the sentence, which they said was not enough of a deterrent for other road users.

Xi Ling, left, apologises to Tim Kay, son of crash victim Rhonda Kay, outside Maryborough Magistrates Court.
Xi Ling, left, apologises to Tim Kay, son of crash victim Rhonda Kay, outside Maryborough Magistrates Court.


Phillip Kay, Rhonda's husband who was seriously injured in the crash, said the Magistrate's hands were tied as to the penalty that could be handed down and it was the laws that needed to change.

He pointed to a change in 2016 when penalties concerning careless driving occasioning death had been increased.

The family wanted to keep pushing for those penalties to become harsher to deter people from unsafe driving on the state's roads.

"If you want to kill somebody, do it by car," Mr Kay said.

"And you walk away," Mrs Kay's son Tim added.

The family said they had been prepared by police to expect this kind of result but were determined to fight for the state's future crash victims.

Mr Kay said Rhonda had received a death sentence despite being innocent of any wrongdoing.

Tim said after the state election, he would be approaching politicians and pushing for tougher laws when it came to careless driving.

"The law was changed in 2016 - it can be changed again," he said.

Tim said the penalty for causing a crash that claimed someone's life needed to be much tougher.

"The penalty needs to fit the crime," he said.

To read the family's tribute to Rhonda, click here.


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