VIDEO: Learner driver jailed for crash that injured five
A FORMER Hervey Bay family was left completely demolished after Peter Lesley Harvey drove into their van on Booral Rd about two years ago.
Alex Fraser-Watson, who now lives on the Sunshine Coast, was left with a severe spine injury and in a back brace for six months and his wife Chantal has lost use of her right leg after a severe fracture.
His daughter Meeka, who was seven at the time of the crash, was left severe scaring to her arm after it was "degloved" in the crash and she was left hanging from the straps of her safety seat.
Harvey, who pleaded guilty in Maryborough District Court to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, was on his learner's licence when the crash occurred on June 8, 2013.
The 45-year-old will remain behind bars until at least January 2, 2018 after being sentenced to six years prison.
Harvey left the scene of the crash on foot without checking if any of the Fraser-Watson family was okay.
Forensic crash experts estimate Harvey would have had a blood alcohol content of about 0.07% at the time of the crash.
It is also estimated he was travelling at 121kmh to 131kmh in the 100kmh zone.
Harvey's car had moved out as if to overtake the Fraser-Waston's van but then changed his mind and moved to the correct side of the road.
As he did so, he clipped the van, sending it rolling about 100m.
Mr Fraser-Watson, who drove up from the family's Maroochy River home to watch the sentence, said he was relieved the anguish was over.
"I am sort of glad it is all over, it's something that is always in the back of your mind," he said.
Mr Fraser-Watson said it was hard to tell if justice was served but did say he felt like he had closure.
"You have got to learn to forgive," he said.
"For my daughters sake, when I look at her and what she has been through, it's hard to let go of those things trying and forgive."
Mr Fraser-Watson said the crash had also had a detrimental effect on the family's business A & C Hearty Foods due to time he and Chantal spent in recovery.