Truck driver jailed for at least 18 months over death of Danielle McGrath


A truck driver has been jailed for at least 18 months after he hit and killed a young woman while she crossed a Sydney road.

David William Edward Grice previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death over the collision that killed 26-year-old Danielle McGrath at Caringbah in 2016.

David Grice has been jailed over the crash.
David Grice has been jailed over the crash.  Photo: AAP

"I saw the blouse of a lady and I panicked and immediately tried to pull over and render assistance," Grice said.

Danielle McGrath with her partner Aaron Roberts.
Danielle McGrath with her partner Aaron Roberts.  Photo: Facebook

In a letter to the McGrath family, which he read out in court, Grice said he was "grieved to the depths of my being" knowing he was responsible for taking away their "precious girl".

"My heart is crushed," he said. "I am devastated that my judgment has done so much damage to so many people and lives."

Footage from the truck's dashboard camera was played to the court, clearly showing Ms McGrath walking across the road from the right before she disappeared in front of the truck. In the vision, Grice then screamed three times.

The McGrath family left the court while the vision was played.

In a victim impact statement, Ms McGrath's boyfriend of six years Aaron Roberts said he was the first family member to arrive at the crash site, and was confronted with his girlfriend's body under a sheet and her handbag and belongings "strewn across the road".

He said he would never forget the "excruciating" and harrowing experience of making multiple phone calls to her family to tell them she was dead.

"I remember thinking, 'This can't be real, I was just with Danielle,' " an emotional Mr Roberts told the court. "We had our whole life ahead of us."

Mr Roberts said he had secretly arranged for a jeweller to make an engagement ring so he could propose to Ms McGrath.

However, he did not have a chance to give it to her while she was alive, instead putting it on her finger at her funeral.

"I've lost the brightest part of my day, my best friend, and my future wife," Mr Roberts said. "I've lost my soul mate. The loss of Danielle has left me devastated, with a massive hole in my heart I will now carry for the rest of my life."

Ms McGrath's father, Bill McGrath, said his life "changed forever" when his wife received the phone call on November 8 informing them Ms McGrath had died.

"I will never forget the screams Helen let out when she collapsed in the backyard," Mr McGrath said.

"Every day since, my wife cries herself to sleep and wakes up the same. She sleeps with a piece of Danielle's clothing under her head for comfort."

He said Ms McGrath was so badly injured in the crash she had to be identified by dental records, which traumatised the family.

Since her death, a memorial seat has been dedicated to her at the place her boyfriend planned to propose.

"To say Danielle will be remembered forever is an understatement," Mr McGrath said. "She is truly one of a kind."

On Friday, NSW District Court judge Peter Maiden sentenced Grice to a maximum of 31-and-a-half months in jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months.



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