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Vic driver jailed over fatal sip of milk

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016

A Victorian cement-mixer truck driver who took his eyes off the road to drink some flavoured milk has been jailed for causing a crash that killed a father of four.

Qurban Ali, 39, was on his way to work on September 12 last year when the concrete mixer truck rear-ended his car in Hallam and pushed it into another vehicle, crushing the front and trapping him inside.

Paramedics cut an unconscious Mr Ali free, but he later died in hospital.

The driver of the truck, Benjamin Lee, 35, was on Monday jailed for three and a half years, with a non-parole period of two years.

He had taken his eyes off the road so he could take a drink of banana-flavoured milk and didn't see Mr Ali's car until it was too late to slow down.

The death of Mr Ali, a permanent resident who migrated to Australia four years ago, has left his young family in a "volatile political environment" in Pakistan, the court heard.

His wife and four children relied on Mr Ali's income and were in the process of applying for visas so they could come to Australia.

Their religious minority is targeted by militant groups and the children can't go to school because the loss of Mr Ali's income means they can't afford the fees, the court has previously been told.

A spousal visa application lodged by Mr Ali in 2013 was classified as withdrawn after his death.

Mr Ali's body was kept at the coroner's court for nine months while his wife unsuccessfully applied for temporary visas so she and her children could say goodbye.

The court heard Mr Ali was a "young, happy, caring person and father" who called his family daily.

Victorian County Court Judge Sue Pullen on Monday said, as was often the case with road accidents, the tragic accident adversely affected the families of both the victim and the driver.

Lee sat in the dock with his head in his hands and dabbed his eyes with a tissue as the details of the crash were read out.

Judge Pullen said he had expressed remorse and accepted his inattention was the reason for the collision, the results of which were tragic.

He has developed depression, anxiety and a phobia of driving or riding in cars.

Lee submitted to the court it was "momentary inattention", but Judge Pullen found there were "a significant number of seconds" when he wasn't looking where he was driving.

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