Family of Pakistani man killed in crash denied Australian visa
The family of a Pakistani man who was killed in a car crash in Australia has been denied visas to view his body.
Qurban Ali, 39, was on his way to work on September 12 last year when a concrete mixer rear-ended his car in Hallam, a suburb in Melbourne, Australia, and pushed it into another vehicle, crushing the front and trapping him inside. Paramedics cut an unconscious Ali free, but he died in hospital.
On Monday, the driver of the truck, Benjamin Lee, 35, was jailed for three and a half years, with a non-parole period of two years. He had taken his eyes off the road to take a drink of flavoured milk and did not see Ali’s car until it was too late to slow down.
Ali moved to Australia four years ago and was a permanent resident of the country. His family applied for visas in April 2013 to join him, but after his death their applications were withdrawn. Ali’s body was kept at the coroner’s court for nine months. His wife applied for a temporary visa so that she and her children could see the body and say goodbye to Ali, but their visas were denied.
Ali’s death has left his young family in a “volatile political environment” in Pakistan, the Victorian county court heard. His wife and four children relied on his income to pay school fees. The court heard Ali was a “young, happy, caring person and father” who called his family daily.
Judge Sue Pullen on Monday said, as was often the case with road accidents, the tragic accident adversely affected the families of both the victim and the driver.
During the hearing, Lee sat in the dock with his head in his hands and dabbed his eyes with a tissue as the details of the crash were read out. Pullen said he had expressed remorse and accepted his inattention was the reason for the collision, the results of which were tragic. He had developed depression, anxiety and a phobia of driving or riding in cars. Lee submitted to the court it was “momentary inattention”, but Pullen found there were “a significant number of seconds” when he was not looking at the road.
This article originally appeared on Guardian.