Reason man was speeding before fatal crash


A BRISBANE driver who found speeding improved his mood has been jailed for killing an elderly man by crashing into his car on the Easter weekend.

Brandon Lee Harnell, 26, was speeding 40 km/h over the limit in his ute along Beenleigh Road in Runcorn, in Brisbane's south, when he crashed into the man's car on the night of March 31 last year.

Harnell was jailed for four years in Brisbane District Court today after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of his 72-year-old victim, who died at the scene.

But he will walk free from jail in a year's time after the remainder of his sentence was suspended.

Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien labelled him an "irresponsible driver" who was driving in an aggressive manner prior to the crash.

"No sentence I can impose on you today can ever adequately compensate for the great loss of a life," he said.

"You are going to have to live with that fact for the rest of your life and know the rest of your life the role that you played."

Harnell had a "pre-existing depressive disorder" before the crash and "speeding was something he did to improve his mood", a psychologist's report said.

He acted impulsively because of "immaturity and a lack of insight about the dangers of risky driving behaviour", the report said.

Chief Judge O'Brien accepted he had displayed genuine remorse. He noted he was not driving while affected by drugs, alcohol or inattention.

Harnell, who attempted to brake but was going too fast to stop, remained at the scene of the crash and called triple-0.

He has been disqualified from driving for five years.