Drug-driver who killed WA surfer jailed

Lachie Yeo was killed when driver Andrew Jon Simon crossed onto the wrong side of Bussell Highway.
Lachie Yeo was killed when driver Andrew Jon Simon crossed onto the wrong side of Bussell Highway.

A drug-affected driver who killed a popular young surfer and seriously hurt his girlfriend after crossing onto the wrong side of a highway in regional Western Australia has been jailed for six years.

New Zealander Andrew Jon Simon, 37, had methamphetamines and cannabis in his system when he crashed into 20-year-old Lachlan "Lachie" Yeo and Annie Riley, then 22, on Bussell Highway in Yalyalup, Busselton in September last year.

The District Court of WA heard Simon was a long term drug user and was fatigued in the "coming down phase" before the crash.

He claimed he had not taken meth that day and could not recall why the collision occurred.

"He was driving along, there was a song on the radio - that's the extent of his recollections," his defence counsel said.

She described Simon, a truck driver, as a "high-functioning user".

Ms Riley fought back tears as she delivered her victim impact statement in person, describing how she was trapped in the wreckage when she heard Mr Yeo take his last breath.

"I yelled for him. I screamed and screamed this wasn't real," she said.

"It's in constant repeat over and over in my head.

"Part of me died in the crash with Lachie.

"He is on the other side and I just want to talk to him."

Ms Riley said she was infuriated her partner had been taken from her due to a life-ruining drug.

Mr Yeo's father Simon told the court about his devastation hearing from police his eldest son "didn't make it".

"The next time we saw him he was in the morgue, his future taken," Mr Yeo said.

"He was set up for a wonderful life. He often talked about having a family."

Mr Yeo said his son was greatly missed by a wide circle of friends and family, including four younger brothers who had idolised him.

"What is left is a family torn and grief stricken, unable to be the same again.

"A dark cloud is in front of my eyes ... it will never clear."

The prosecutor said Simon continued to offend after the crash.

He was found with drugs and drove despite his licence being suspended, and was caught speeding and driving an unlicensed car with false plates.

Simon will be eligible for parole after serving four years and his licence will be disqualified for five years after he is released.

Australian Associated Press