A TEENAGE motorcyclist had been racing a car before he was hit and killed, witnesses to the North Albury fatal smash last year told authorities.
That, and a Wodonga driver’s moment of inattention, led to the accident that claimed the life of 17-year-old Ayrton Watts, pictured left, Albury Court was told.
Joseph Patrick Ryan, 25, pictured right, appeared for sentencing on a charge of negligent driving causing death after previously pleading guilty.
He was fined $1100, disqualified for 18 months and placed on a two-year bond.
Ryan had stopped in the right-hand lane in Mate Street to turn into Fallon Street about 6.50pm on August 24.
He gave way to oncoming vehicles before driving through the intersection at 10 to 15km/h in his Ford utility.
Several witnesses said they believed Mr Watts, who was riding south on a 250cc Yamaha motorcycle, was racing a Mitsubishi Magna.
Solicitor Mark Cronin, representing Ryan, said four witnesses had given estimates of the speed of 70 to 100km/h.
Mr Cronin said there was evidence of lane-changing and overtaking as the Magna and Mr Watts travelled south.
Ryan did not see either travelling towards him and turned, believing the road was clear.
The Magna braked heavily and veered sharply to the right after hitting the rear-corner of Ryan’s utility, then crossed to the wrong side of the road and stopped.
Mr Watts then hit Ryan’s utility at the tray on the passenger side.
Mr Watts, a Murray High School student, died at the scene.
Mr Cronin said there was no suggestion Ryan had accelerated to beat the lights.
The Magna driver conceded he was exceeding the speed limit.
Mr Cronin said there was a blind spot when turning right at Fallon Street.
Magistrate Megan Greenwood said she accepted there had been momentary inattention by Ryan.
“I express my sincere condolences to the Watts family,” she said.
“It must be truly tragic for his family who are suffering greatly.”
She told Ryan: “You have insight into this terrible tragedy.”
Mr Watts’ mother Everlyn, father Jason and sisters Jacinta and Melody were in court.
Mrs Watts left in tears as Ms Greenwood commented and the family declined to comment.