A father has flown across the country to support the man who caused his son’s death by accidentally driving off a cliff as he faces court for careless driving.
Corey Ring, 25, suffered fatal injuries after the Toyota Landcruiser he was a passenger in plunged 20 metres off a cliff and smashed onto rocks in Lyndon, a remote coastal town in Western Australia, in August 2018.
The vehicle was being driven by Mr Ring’s mate Baxter Woodger, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, alongside his girlfriend Tahlee De Clouett.
Woodger, from the Illawarra region of New South Wales, was fined $8000 in the Perth Magistrate’s Court on Friday after pleading guilty to careless driving causing Mr Ring’s death.
The 25-year-old was supported in court by Mr Ring’s father Steve, who travelled to Western Australia from NSW, for the sentencing, the West Australian reported.
The father hopes Woodger will be able get on with his life following the tragedy.
‘I said ”mate, I hope you can move on from here, you can pick up the pieces and get on with your life”,’ he said outside court.
‘He’s got to live with this for the rest of his life, and if there’s a sentence that’s required, that’s more than enough.’
Woodger’s girlfriend Ms De Clouett was also in court for sentencing and reportedly appeared to be distressed.
The couple embarked on their dream road trip across Australia in June, 2018.
Ms De Clouett shared numerous joyous pictures from their travels as they smiled with friends and visited some of the country’s stunning beaches.
On June 17, she posted a picture on Instagram from Kimba in South Australia to notify her friends that they had made it halfway across Australia.
A few days later, Ms De Clouett shared a picture from the Nullabor and wrote: ‘Nullabor- the land of no trees and straight roads.’
The couple hit the west coast around June 20, unaware that disaster would strike less than a month later.
‘2 weeks and 5,000kms later we have finally reached the Indian Ocean,’ Ms De Clouett wrote alongside a picture of a clear blue beach.
Mr Ring had been living in Western Australia for about a year after moving from NSW.
He was on a week’s break when he joined Mr Woodger and Ms De Clouett on their extravagant holiday.
The trio spent time together fishing, surfing and camping at remote beaches.
They were camping at Lyndon, south of the remote Warroora Station, when celebrating Ms De Clouett’s 21st birthday.
Woodger agreed to take a friend back to his campsite and Mr Ring and Ms De Clouett decided to join for the journey.
He reached a fork in the road on his way back at about 3.30am and followed the track towards the cliff face.
Woodger’s lawyer Simon Freitag said his client did what he could to ‘save lives’ by waking his unconscious girlfriend and pulling Mr Ring out of the car and onto the rocks.
Prosecutors suggested a suspended jail term, but Magistrate Mark Millington determined a fine was sufficient.
‘There’s no suggestion you intended for anything to happen that night and it only makes it worse that it happened to someone so close to you,’ he said.
Woodger was also fined $300 for driving with 0.06mg/L of MDMA in his system. It was found the substance had ‘no impact’ on his ability to drive.
He is suspended for driving for six months.
Outside court Steve Ring said he stood by Woodger as a ‘good friend’ of his son. He is hopeful his family and the 25-year-old can move on following the conclusion of the court process.