John Tsalapatis walks free from court after killing SA teacher in crash

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South Australian man John Tsalapatis – who caused a fatal crash at a McLaren Vale intersection in 2021 – has avoided jail, but a judge has ordered he serve a three-year sentence at home.

Tsalapatis was found guilty in March of dangerous driving causing the death of 61-year-old schoolteacher Bernice Sternberg — who was a passenger in a car being driven by her husband Rony Sternberg. 

Tsalapatis drove through a McLaren Vale intersection in 2021 without giving way despite two warning signs, on a clear day with fine conditions.

Tsalapatis was found guilty last month for causing death by dangerous driving.
Tsalapatis was found guilty last month for causing death by dangerous driving. Photo: ABC News.

During sentencing on Wednesday, District Court Judge Nick Alexandrides said there was nothing about the road conditions that explained or excused Tsalapatis’ poor attention, and his remorse had not involved taking responsibility.

Tsalapatis was sentenced to three years jail, with a non-parole period of two years and four months. He was ordered to serve the sentence on home detention. His driver’s licence was also disqualified for 12 years.

Tsalapatis has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Source: ABC News.

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