The family of a Warrnambool man who died in a fatal crash at Bushfield nearly two years ago says every second of every day is now an "absolute struggle".
Aaron Flack, 46, died of chest injuries following the fatal collision on March 30, 2020.
Joshua Lombardo, 23, of Mailors Flat, pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria on Friday to driving in a manner dangerous causing death.
The court heard Lombardo was travelling to work on the morning of the fatal crash when he attempted to turn right from a private property onto the Hopkins Highway.
The windows of his 2001 Holden Rodeo utility were fogged up and he had poor visibility.
He activated the vehicle's demister to clear the front windscreen but vision through the driver and passenger-side windows remained obscured.
The court heard Lombardo told police he saw "real dim" lights in the distance and believed it was safe to turn right.
But Lombardo's utility turned into the path of Mr Flack, who was travelling north-west on the highway.
Mr Flack applied his brakes before being thrown from the motorcycle.
The victim and the bike slid across the road surface and collided with the utility.
Mr Flack died of fatal chest injuries at the scene.
Lombardo immediately pulled over and called 000, stating at the scene "it's all my fault".
The court heard five victim impact statements written by Mr Flack's wife Lauren, two of his three daughters Maddyson and Jorjah, his mother Amy and father John.
Mrs Flack said they had lost not only a husband, best friend and father but "our lives and ourselves".
"Never to be whole or the same again," she said.
"I've been ripped in half, not knowing who I am without Aaron. Over half of my life we were a pair, now I'm having to face everything as a single."
Maddyson, 18, said all the special moments reserved for a dad and his daughter would never be shared again and that "every second of every day is an absolute struggle".
Jorjah, 16, said her family could never go back "to what we had or being ourselves when we're missing a part of us".
Mr Flack's mother Amy said she cried most days for her son and the hole the fatal accident had left in her heart.
John Flack said his son's death had left a deafening silence and that he missed his son "every minute of every day".
Lombardo's mother told the court that her son was "so remorseful" that he felt sick about what had occurred and wanted to reach out to the family many times but didn't know how they would respond.
She said Lombardo was a "happy-go-lucky, carefree" man before the fatal crash and that he now showed symptoms of anxiety.
The court heard the maximum penalty for the offence was 10 years' imprisonment.
Barrister Tim Marsh urged the court to consider an alternative sentence, such as a community correction order.
He said Lombardo was a man of good character, with no criminal history and "exemplary" prospects of rehabilitation.
Mr Marsh said there was no evidence of a dim headlight but Lombardo likely saw lights that were dimmed by the fog on the driver's side window.
He said Lombardo was in that moment faced with two potential choices - to wind down his window and wait for the light to pass, or to turn.
"It is clear what choice was made," Mr Marsh said.
"He made quite literally a fatal mistake."
Mr Marsh said the offending was not aggravated by speed, or by Lombardo fleeing the scene or attempting to downplay his role in Mr Flack's death.
He said Lombardo had an unblemished record, a bright future, and was constantly reminded of what had occurred everytime he returned to the private property near where the accident happened.
Prosecutor Robyn Harper said none of the matters submitted by the defence met the threshold for exceptional circumstances why Lombardo should avoid a jail sentence.
She said good character and good prospects of rehabilitation could not, by law, be considered exceptional, and that the ongoing reminder of the collision was likely to occur.
She said there were positive features but not rare, substantial or compelling ones.
"Consequently, a period of imprisonment must be imposed," she submitted to the court.
Judge Michael Cahill ordered Lombardo to be assessed for a correction order. He said that did not indicate what sentence he would ultimately impose. Lombardo will be sentenced on February 2.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.