Family's anguish over couple killed by teen driver in hit-run
The brother of a man killed in a road accident in Melbourne by a teenager in a stolen car has said he will never forget the sight of his sibling's lifeless body.
Matt Goland, 38, and Bita Zaeim, 32, died in April this year after Eric Victorsen, then 19, crashed into their car at 114 km/h at Wantirna, in the city’s east.
This afternoon in the County Court of Victoria, Victorsen formally entered pleas of guilty to two charges of culpable driving causing death and one count of failing to render assistance after an accident.
The court was told that on April 21, Victorsen and a 15-year-old girl stole a $170,000 Lexus four-wheel drive, with Victorsen speeding at 133 km/h in an 80 zone.
He then drove through a red light and collided with Mr Goland and Ms Zaeim's car, with the victims' car rotating several times before coming to rest on a nature strip.
Mr Goland died instantly, while Ms Zaeim was rushed to hospital but died soon after.
The pair had been married only a year.
The crash was captured on CCTV, with Victorsen seen pulling his passenger from the stolen car and saying "let's go, let's go", before the pair fled on foot.
Mr Goland's brother Christopher Goland told the court the deaths were an "unjust waste of life".
"My life is filled with nothing but anguish," the tearful man said in front of a courtroom packed with grieving relatives.
"I feel like my heart has been ripped out."
He said he couldn't forget seeing Mr Goland and Ms Zaeim's "lifeless bodies" at the mortuary.
"That image is seared into my brain," he said.
Mr Goland's father Michael tendered a statement read to court by prosecutor Kristie Churchill.
"You have destroyed one third of my family for no reason."
Michael Goland said he thought of revenge and often dwelt on the image of the pair lying dead on the road while Victorsen ran away like a "dog".
Judge Geoff Chettle said he would take into account aggravating factors such as the fact Victorsen was driving a stolen car and was also driving while disqualified.
However, he added he would consider a longer-than-usual parole period due to his youth.
Defence barrister David Gibson said Victorsen had been run over by his father in the driveway when he was 16 months old and subsequently had problems with illiteracy, learning and drug use throughout his youth.
Victorsen, who is now 20, will be sentenced on December 20.