An unlicensed drunk driver who caused a Truganina crash that killed two children will serve at least nine years in prison.
Damian Tiahaiere Rakatau, 42, was driven home to Rockbank from a rugby club function in Melton South in July last year after drinking 25 cans of Double Jack, a mixture of Jack Daniels and cola.
At close to midnight, Rakatau took his partner’s car and drove along the Western Freeway.
Court documents said witnesses noticed him driving erratically around midnight on July 7, travelling up to 115km/h along Hopkins Road in Truganina.
The Ford Territory Rakatau was driving collided head-on with a Ford Fiesta sedan carrying a family of four.
Ruana Panicker, 10, and her brother Immanuel, 4, died from their injuries.
The children’s parents were both injured in the crash and the mother, Manju Varughese, is unable to return to work.
Rakatau was jailed at the County Court last week for 13 years with a minimum non-parole period of nine years.
Judge Sarah Dawes revealed that since being remanded in custody after the incident last year, Rakatau’s long-term partner suffered a heart attack and died in a car accident.
Judge Dawes said Rakatau had had no contact with anyone outside prison since his partner’s death and his depression had been aggravated by the loss.
“In the words of your counsel, you accept that the blame for this accident lies at your own feet,” she said in her judgment.
Rakatau had never held a valid driver’s licence and had been found guilty of unlicensed driving on five previous occasions.
“Your driving was grossly negligent, compounded by your drunkenness,” Judge Dawes said.
“The sentence that I will ultimately impose is in no way a reflection of the value of the children’s lives.”
Rakatau pleaded guilty to two counts of culpable driving causing death and single counts of negligently causing serious injury and unlicensed driving.