A driver who killed a man while under the influence of meth and marijuana is jailed, as it’s revealed she was texting her drug dealer moments before she hit him.
Rebecca Jane Kinchela, 37, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death while under the influence of drugs, and failing to stop and assist, after running over Shawn Anderson in Goulburn in the early hours of June 20, 2015.
Shortly before the incident, another driver had rung triple zero after noticing the 37-year-old lying on the NSW roadway and seeing him raise his hand as she drove past.
Kinchela was jailed on Friday for running over Shawn Anderson (pictured with family) in Goulburn in the early hours of June 20, 2015
But when police arrived a few minutes later they saw Mr Anderson appeared to have been run over.
They found Kinchela soon afterwards sitting in her car – with the seat back – about 70 metres up the road.
In the District Court in Sydney on Friday, Judge David Frearson jailed Kinchela for two-and-a-half years with a non-parole period of 20 months.
He concluded she’d been texting on her phone at a time ‘approximate to the impact’ but was unable to say whether she had been distracted at the actual time she hit Mr Anderson.
She had been engaged in some sort of ‘transaction for drugs in the minute before’, the judge said.
An expert concluded Kinchela had consumed methamphetamine within six to 12 hours and cannabis within five hours of the impact.
Instead of calling for help, she had sat in her car ‘very quietly trying not to be observed’, Judge Frearson said. She was subsequently ‘callously casual’ in her police interview.
vonne Anderson, wife of victim Shawn Anderson, leaves Downing centre court after the sentencing of Rebecca Kinchela in Sydney, Friday, April 20
In a victim impact statement, Yvonne Anderson said her husband’s death had shattered the family.
Her ‘best friend of 20 years’ was gone while the driver had shown no remorse for her actions.
‘My hatred towards this inhumane individual’ will never go away, Ms Anderson said.
Kinchela had a history of substance abuse, and her record includes another driving-while-impaired offence which happened after the mid-2015 fatality.
The court was told the 37-year-old was now off drugs.
While stressing he was not blaming the victim, Kinchela’s lawyer had argued the case was ‘very unusual indeed’ in that Mr Anderson had been lying on the road.
‘The incident may have occurred with a driver who did not have drugs in their system and who was not distracted,’ he said.