SENTENCED: 44-year-old Jason Ernest Cross killed a man in a fatal crash last year.
SENTENCED: 44-year-old Jason Ernest Cross killed a man in a fatal crash last year. Eliza Wheeler

He was clocked at 173kmh moments before causing fatal crash

THE DRIVER who killed a Hervey Bay man in a horrific crash on Pialba-Burrum Heads Rd may never drive again.

Jason Ernest Cross was travelling at a speed of 173kmh in December last year, when he hit a car being driven by 63-year-old Raymond Burke.

Mr Burke was leaving the Craignish Country Club at the time of the crash, and died at the scene despite resuscitation attempts by emergency services.

The father-of-three was just months away from retiring from his job as a Gladstone Port Authority worker when his life was tragically cut short by Cross.

Mr Burke was remembered by those close to him as a "mischievous" man who loved his family and took great pride in his home and lawn, and loved his home and community at Dundowran Beach.


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Appearing in Hervey Bay District Court yesterday morning, Cross, 45, pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death; of grievous bodily harm while excessively speeding.

The court heard there was no evidence that Cross tried to brake before the deadly crash.

While handing down his sentence, Justice John Robertson highlighted Cross's "appalling history" including dozens of driving offences.

The judge said Cross had shown a "complete disregard for the law".

"If he [Burke] delayed a couple of seconds it could have been someone else," Justice Robertson said.

"Why is there a need to pretend he's a Formula One driver and drive at these excessive speeds?"

After reading the victim impact statement of Mr Burke's wife Jennifer, Justice Robertson said he could not "imagine or experience" her loss.

"I want you to know I've been deeply moved [by your victim impact statement]," he said.

Cross was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment, with a parole eligibility date set for March 15, 2019.

Cross was disqualified absolutely from driving.

He can apply to remove the disqualification in two years' time. 

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