Monica Kellalea sentenced for Melba Highway crash that killed Melinda Gordon-Addison

“Hell on earth” could not have stopped a husband from being beside his wife moments after her death at the hands of a drug-impaired driver, a Victorian court has heard.

Melinda Gordon-Addison, 50, was killed nearly immediately when a car driven by Healesville mother Monica Kellalea crashed into her on the Melba Hwy, Murrindindi, on the afternoon of February 6 2022.

Simon Addison, Melinda’s partner of 32 years and father of the pair’s two children, was one of the first to arrive at the scene.

He pushed past a friend and police to be by his wife’s side who, by that time, had died as a result of her injuries.

“Hell on earth wouldn’t have stopped me from going to my (Ms Gordon-Addison) Min… The police allowed me to see Min after I explained I had to see her and say goodbye,” Mr Addison’s victim impact statement, repeated in the County Court of Victoria on Wednesday, said.

“How do you say goodbye to the love of your life?” he said.

Mr Addison, who was following behind his wife on a motorbike, said he sat on the side of the road “for a bit just looking and trying to comprehend the scene,” before he walked over to his wife’s car that had fallen down an embankment.

“I found my (Melinda) hanging halfway out of the car. I held her hand, talked to her, and told her that I loved her, and to say goodbye.”

“I don’t think I could read any of the victim impact statement out without crying to be honest.” Judge John Smallwood said in sentencing Kellalea.

Kellalea, 38, with two children herself, was driving while under the influence of methamphetamine and GHB, a liquid depressant, when the fatal collision occurred.

She was on a Community Corrections Order at the time for previous drug offences.

Judge Smallwood said Kellalea had led an “unremarkable” life until her early 30s, when drug-taking partners led her to her own path of addiction, the court heard.

He said her relapse into drug taking, which had occurred before the fatal incident, had now cost a woman her life.

Judge Smallwood sentenced Kellalea, who has served 282 days of pre-sentence detention, to seven years prison, four-and-a-half of which must be served before she is eligible for parole, for the charge of culpable driving causing death.

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