Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

Father who survived crash with ‘a truck driver checking Google Maps’ that killed his wife and son shares the pain of clearing out the five-year-old’s bedroom

  • A grieving father who lost son and wife in car crash reveals his pain at the loss 
  • His teacher wife and 5YO son died after being hit by truck near Ballarat, Victoria
  • Truck driver who missed a giveway sign said he was distracted by Google Maps 

By Alana Tindale For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 13:04, 23 February 2021 | Updated: 13:13, 23 February 2021

A father who survived a car crash that killed his wife and young son has shared the pain of clearing out the five-year-old boy’s bedroom. 

Anthony West’s wife Jessica, 37, and five-year-old son Deighton were killed after their Toyota Wagon was hit by a semi-trailer near Ballarat, Victoria, on December 29, 2019. 

Truck driver Michael Knowler, 60, failed to see a give way sign at an intersection because he was looking at Google Maps directions on his phone, a court was told. 

Anthony West (top) survived the crash that killed his wife Jessica (right) and son (middle)

Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

Teacher Jessica, 37, (right) and five-year-old son Deighton (left) died near Ballarat last year 

Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

Ms West (left) and Deighton (right) died after a truck driver missed a giveway sign 

Prosecutor Sharn Coombes described the harrowing moment Mr West realised his youngest son had died.

‘He knew immediately that his son had not survived and slumped to the floor and punched the door before hearing his son Oakley crying,’ Ms Coombes told the pre-sentencing hearing at Victorian County court on Monday, Herald Sun reported.  

‘Hearing Oakley crying and murmuring was the only thing that made me not want to die right there and then,’ Mr West told the court.   

In a victim impact statement to court the Bendigo father said his wife’s screams were the last thing he heard her say. 

‘The scream lives with me everyday,’ he said. 

The Bendigo father and his nine-year-old son Oakley survived the crash that flipped their car nearly five times. 

Oakley suffered head trauma and spent four weeks in the Royal Children’s’ Hospital Melbourne. 

‘I felt guilty that I survived (the crash),’ Anthony told the court, according to 7 News.

‘I still feel responsible…

I wish I could trade my life for theirs.’ 

He also revealed how painful it had been to clear out his son Deighton’s room, complete with unopened Christmas presents. 

‘It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,’ he said.

Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

Deighton (pictured) was about to start primary school when he died

Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

Mr West said he felt guilty for surviving while his son (pictured) and wife died

Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

Mr West and his 9-year-old son Oakley (both pictured) were sitting in the front of the vehicle

Father faces driver who drove truck that killed Jessica West and son in Kingston near Ballarat VIC

The crashsite near Ballarat is pictured 

Mr West said he felt guilty for surviving the crash that took the lives of his teacher wife and son, who was about to start primary school.

‘I still feel responsible…

I wish I could trade my life for theirs,’ reported 7News.

West Australian Knowler had a perfect driving record and was not affected by drugs or alcohol at the time. 

He has pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and one charge of dangerous driving causing serious injury.

He is remanded in custody until sentencing and defence barrister Chris Pearson said he faced deportation to New Zealand when released from jail.  

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