Former Seven News reporter Trent Evans, 45, was sentenced to seven years and 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to drunkenly crashing a car, killing passenger and friend Rex Willox.
Evans had spent four hours drinking champagne with Willox, 44, in February 2021, before getting behind the wheel. Witnesses saw Evans driving at high-speed before he lost control of the car and hit a timber pole, which broke and caused their Mercedes to roll over.
Evans recorded a blood-alcohol reading of 0.10 and was driving at 112km/h, nearly twice the 60km speed limit. He also has a criminal history that included previous drink-driving offences.
“As a consequence of your level of intoxication, you were incapable of exercising proper control over the car that you were driving,” he told the court.
“The speed at which you drove and the alcohol in your system at the time you drove each constitute very serious breaches of the criminal law in their own right.”
Evans worked at Seven’s Melbourne and rural Queensland news rooms but told the court he succumbed to a “mental health crisis”, unable to get his life back on track.
He resigned from Seven in 2017, but was homeless by 2018. He has been diagnosed with a personality disorder and PTSD.
Evans, who has been in prison since earlier this month, will be eligible for parole after five years and two months.