An elderly man who struck and killed a cyclist north of Brisbane was not legally able to drive at the time due to his deteriorating vision, a court has been told.
Ian Allan Field was not speeding or distracted when he struck Carol Ismail and her husband Adam as they rode their bikes in Queensland’s Moreton Bay region.
But after the fatal accident, Mr Field told police he “simply did not see them”.
Family members of Ms Ismail wept as the court was told Mr Ismail lay injured in the drain after the collision, unable to assist his dying wife.
Two years after the horror crash, Field pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a single count of dangerous driving causing death.
Brisbane District Court was told the Ismails had left their home for a morning cycle on Sunday, August 16 in 2020.
They were riding single file on the hard left side of Boden Rd in Wamuran when Field, 75, struck them with his car.
He was not recklessly driving, distracted or speeding at the time, crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said.
She said Field immediately attempted to render assistance after the crash, but told police he simply “did not see” the pair until the collision.
Carol Ismail, 55, was flown to a hospital in Brisbane but later succumbed to her injuries.
Mr Ismail suffered multiple fractures to his back, spending two weeks in hospital.
The court was told he had been unable to move and assist his wife at the time due to his injuries.
Field had been advised by doctors two weeks before the crash not to drive due to his deteriorating eyesight.
Ms Kelso said the dangerousness of his driving came from the fact he still made the “sober decision” to get behind the wheel of his car despite knowing his vision was so poor.
Multiple family members and friends of Field sat in the back of court in support of the elderly man.
Field’s defence barrister said her client’s time in custody would be harsher due to his poor vision and other health conditions like diabetes, minor cognitive impairment and coronary artery disease.
The court was told he was remorseful and had fully accepted responsibility for the crash.
Judge Glenn Martin said there was no sentence the court could impose to bring back Ms Ismail or remedy her family’s pain.
“You knew yourself that you shouldn’t be driving,” he told Field.
“There is no explanation for this event other than that you were driving, when you knew you could not drive.”
Field was sentenced to six years’ jail, but Judge Martin said he would be eligible for parole in 18 months due to his medical conditions.