> Man sentenced to jail, deporation after boat crash killed his daughter-in-law

Man sentenced to jail, deporation after boat crash killed his daughter-in-law

A man who was drunk and speeding when he caused the “senseless, needless and brutal death” of his daughter-in-law in a boat crash on the Brisbane River will be deported after serving time in jail.

Nicole Herbert was travelling in a boat with her partner and his father when it collided with a private jetty in Chelmer in November, 2020.

The 21-year-old died after she hit her head on the boat before being thrown onto a mud bank.

In the District Court on Monday, Jamie Harwood, 48, pleaded guilty to several offences including dangerous operation of a motor vessel causing death while under the influence.

During a sentencing hearing in Brisbane, the court heard Harwood, who did not have a marine licence, had been at the helm of the boat at the time of the crash and was travelling up to more than 10 knots over the speed limit.

The court also heard he had consumed an “unknown quantity of beer” while operating the boat, and after the crash, had refused to provide a blood alcohol sample, telling hospital staff “he could not do needles”.

A young woman in a jumper.
Nicole Herbert died when the boat crashed into a private jetty in Chelmer.(Supplied)

In a moving victim impact statement, Rodger Herbert described his daughter as a “truly beautiful caring soul” and said her death had caused his family “immense heartbreak”.

“The pain is relentless,” he said.

“I have no idea how to convey the heart wrenching feeling of seeing your child in a coffin dead, robbed of life and the feeling of intense sorrow.”

Mr Herbert said his daughter suffered a “senseless, needless and brutal death” by a “reckless act of stupidity”.

“A death she absolutely did not deserve,” he said.

The court heard Harwood had a lengthy traffic history, including multiple instances of speeding, unlicensed and drunk driving, and was once caught three times over the legal blood alcohol limit.

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