Driver jailed for walking from deadly Geraldton crash

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Shannon HamptonGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse.

A heavily drunk driver who walked home to bed and left three people to burn to death after he crashed into the back of their car near Geraldton last year has been jailed for nine years.

Amiel Tittums, 36, was sentenced today in the WA Supreme Court after pleading guilty to three counts of dangerous driving causing death, failing to render assistance and failing to report an incident.

Tittums was driving at speeds between 157km/h and 165km/h along Chapman Road in Glenfield, which has a speed limit of 90km/h, when he crashed into the back of a Holden Commodore at 1.40am last August.

The crash caused the Holden's fuel tank to rupture and after colliding with trees, the car burst into flames.

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Driver Felicity Pallett, 23, and her passengers 31-year-old Michael Hook and 27-year-old Coen Kentwell died at the scene.

A post-mortem examination found the three died of smoke inhalation with incineration.

After the collision, the father-of-two walked about 1.5km to his home and showered, changed his clothes and went to sleep.

When police visited his home about 5.30am, he denied having any knowledge of the crash, but when he was asked to lift his shirt, he had bruising consistent with being caused by a seatbelt.

That morning he recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.136 and had diazepam and a small amount of methamphetamine in his system.

Justice Michael Corboy said in statements presented to the court, the victims' families spoke of their "devastating loss".

"The horrific nature of your victims' death will forever cause distress to their families," he said.

Justice Corboy said Tittums demonstrated "extrordinary callousness" when he left the crash scene and left the victims to perish.

As well as serving nine years behind bars, Tittums' driver's license was disqualified for three years, with the ban effective from the date of his release from prison.

He will become eligible for parole in September 2023.

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