A VIETNAM veteran jailed for killing a woman when he accidentally rammed her while driving a truck has had his sentence reduced.
Gladstone man Murray John Huxtable, 56, was not paying attention to the Holden Commodore in front of him when he was driving an unladen tip truck towing a trailer along Ipswich-Boonah Rd.
When the driver, Roslyn Calder, stopped the car at the intersection with Milbong Rd on July 27, 2011, Huxtable's truck slammed into her car at almost 80kmh, forcing the car into the path of a Hyundai Getz.
Margaret Schumacher was driving the Hyundai with her teenage son David in the car when she hit the Commodore, killing Ms Calder instantly.
Huxtable, then 59, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District court last year to causing Ms Calder's death and grievously harming Ms Schumacher.
He was sentenced to five years' jail, suspended after 15 months.
Queensland Court of Appeal President Justice Margaret McMurdo, in a judgment handed down on Friday, said Huxtable's dangerous driving was not as serious as cases involving alcohol or drugs, speed, fatigue, or lengthy periods of reckless driving.
But she referred to evidence that Huxtable should have seen Ms Calder's car almost seven seconds before his truck hit it.
He did not brake until about three seconds before impact.
Justice McMurdo reduced the sentence to three-and-a-half years, suspended after 14 months.
Ms Schumacher had to have surgery to fuse her vertebrae and have titanium plates, wires and screws inserted throughout her body.
Her son received a cut to his eyebrow, dislocated thumb and broken nose.
Ms Schumacher, a registered nurse, wrote in her victim impact statement that her dreams of becoming a midwife were dashed and her husband had to close his business of 25 years.
He has since become her carer and they and their five children must rely on Centrelink as their sole income.
After the accident Huxtable had surgery to his knee and hip and was off work for 14 months.
He suffered from flashbacks and bad dreams and a psychologist treated him for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Huxtable - a long-time truck driver and father of two - was sincerely remorseful and was especially cautious when driving since, the court heard at sentence.
Although Huxtable was fined for speeding seven months after the accident, he told the court it was his wife driving.
- APN NEWSDESK