A truck driver jailed after ploughing into three vehicles at a roadworks stop light in Portland North, killing a woman and seriously injuring four others, has had 15 months slashed off his minimum prison term.
Peter Buckley, 62, was last year jailed for 11 years with a non-parole period of nine years after he was found guilty by a jury in the Warrnambool County Court of culpable driving causing the death of Mary Driver, 56, and charges of negligently causing serious injury to four other people.
Earlier this week he appealed against the sentence with his barrister Michael Turner submitting to the Supreme Court court of appeal that the nine year non-parole period was manifestly excessive, making up 81 per cent of the total effective sentence.
On Thursday Buckley was re-sentenced to a minimum prison term of seven years and nine months.
The head sentence of 11 years' jail remains unchanged.
Justice David Beach and Justice Stephen McLeish said the non-parole period put in place last year was "wholly outside (above) the permissible range".
In their written judgement they said the minimum prison term was not only too long but it failed to give effect to Buckley's prospects of rehabilitation and to mitigate his punishment.
"In fixing a non-parole period, punishment is mitigated in favour of rehabilitation. The benefit of the minimum term is for the purpose of the offender's rehabilitation," they said.
The justices noted that during last year's plea hearing, it was agreed Buckley's prospects of rehabilitation were "promising".
They found there was nothing excessive about the head sentence imposed by the judge.
Buckley has already served 697 days in custody on remand.
He will be eligible for parole in 2028.
In March 2018 Buckley, who had driven a return trip from Mount Gambier to Robe, then on to Lucindale was headed toward Portland in a B-double truck.
The man suffered from blackouts and deja vu episodes and was on medication for the condition which he had experienced for nearly two decades.
But he failed to reveal the extent of the episodes, including in an appointment with a neurologist a month before the crash that claimed the life of Mrs Driver.
The victims were stopped behind a tipper truck and another car at roadworks on the Portland-Nelson Road near the intersection of Westlakes Road about 2.30pm on March 14, 2018.
Buckley blacked out and collided with the two vehicles which were then pushed into a tipper truck.
His truck came to a stop 160 metres away from the point of impact.
Scene analysis showed a clear view of the road works traffic light, staffed by a worker, for 800 metres beforehand. There were also speed signs.
The man's truck slowed from 80km/h to 50km/h before the collision.
Mrs Driver had recently retired from teaching, was visiting Australia with her husband and touring the south-west with family.
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