4yrs for road racing death

| 27/11/2014

(CNS): A 24-year-old George Town man was jailed for four years Wednesday for causing the death of his close friend, Zak Quappe (21) in a major road collision last year. Igor Domladis pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving when he admitted racing with Quappe along South Church Street as they headed home after a night out. The court heard the drivers were both doing over 60mph when the crash happened, described by the judge as “excessive speed”. Domladis, who was driving his father’s Mitsubishi Lancer, had tried to overtake Quappe, who was driving a Ford Taurus, but both drivers lost control as they took a left hand bend. While Domladis walked away with minor injuries, Quappe was killed on impact.

With a number of aggravating factors in the case, the judge passed a six year sentence, which he reduce to four years for Domladis' admission of guilt.

The smash happened in the early morning hours of18 May 2013. Although there was some dispute between the crown’s accident reconstruction expert and the report tended by a defence expert, the two sides agreed that which car had collided with which first was less relevant as both of the young drivers were racing for more than a half mile. The judge had stated that the “furious and wanton driving” by both the young men had contributed to Quappe’s death.

Justice Malcom Swift, who sentenced the young driver, noted a number of aggravating factors in the case: that Domladis had shown a “flagrant disregard” for the potential danger and that other innocent bystanders could have been killed.

He said that Domladis had been drinking but had refused to give a sample in the immediate wake of the smash and had not done so until some ten hours later when alcohol had still been present in his blood. The court also heard that Domladis’ driver’s license had expired some six weeks before the crash and the car did not have a valid inspection certificate as that had also expired a few weeks before. The roadworthiness of the vehicle was not considered a contributing factor to the smash, however, which the court found was down to the speed and the competitive driving of the young men.

The court heard that as a result of the smash a passenger travelling with Domladis had also suffered a serious injury and there was considerable damage to other parked vehicles as the two cars spun out of control, hitting a light pole, a concrete post and concrete walls. The judge said the young man was “no stranger to speeding” as he had received two speeding tickets in his first year of driving.

The judge also noted a number of mitigating features, including the significant remorse that Domladis had shown over losing his closest friend and the fact that both men were culpable, as they were racing and showing off. Justice Swift described the attitude of Quappe’s family to the incident as both “generous and very reasonable”, as they acknowledged that both families of the young men in this smash had suffered a devastating tragedy.

The court heard that Domladis, a university graduate, is a high academic achiever and was planning to do post graduate studies in education policy until this incident derailed his future plans. Nevertheless, defence attorney Ben Tonner said his client would do what he could to use his time in jail wisely until his release, when he still hopes to pursue a career in education.

The court also ordered a five year driving ban to commence on his release from jail and he will be required to sit a driver’s test before ever being granted a new licence.

Category: Crime

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