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Distracted driver's fateful decision that left cyclist dead

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 26/11/2018

Emma Kent took her eyes off the road for about 10 seconds as she changed the music playing in her car.

It was a fatal decision that will see the Melbourne 24-year-old spend nine months in prison.

As Kent tried to connect her phone's Bluetooth to the car audio while driving along Black Forest Drive at Macedon on December 10 last year, she fatally struck 57-year-old cyclist Gareth Davies.

County Court Judge Sue Pullen on Monday noted Kent expressed remorse and guilt for her actions but insisted a term of imprisonment was needed, plus a two-year community corrections order.

"The distress to both families, Mr Davies' and your own, is evident," she said.

"But their loss is permanent."

Kent sobbed throughout Monday's proceeding and appeared shocked as the sentence was announced.

Kent told police after the crash she was distracted for about 10 seconds.

"I was pressing play, changing from the radio to music on the (phone's) radio," she said.

"That's what I was doing that distracted me."

Police ruled out drugs, alcohol, fatigue or speed as factors in the crash, with Judge Pullen pointing entirely to driver inattention.

She subsequently dismissed a non-custodial sentence as "manifestly unsuitable".

Bicycle Network boss Craig Richards said Mr Davies' death was a costly lesson in why drivers must keep their eyes on the road at all times.

"There are no winners in terrible situations like this. A young woman is in prison, a partner, father and son has been lost forever and the bike-riding community is feeling the pain of another lost life," he said.

Tears also flowed during Kent's last court hearing on November 14, when Mr Davies' daughters recounted their loss.

"In the first 24 hours after I found out, it felt like the world and my life was ending," Rhia Davies said of hearing the news her dad had died.

"I cannot put into words the amount of complete, consuming rage I feel towards the accused." Her younger sister, Ffion, recounted being haunted by having to tell her grandmother of the death.

"After my dad was killed, my whole world fell apart," she said.

Kent pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving causing death.

She must complete 100 hours of unpaid community service, undergo a mental health assessment and driver awareness programs.

Her driver's licence was disqualified for two years.

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