The family of a “dearly loved” young woman whose “incredible potential” was cut short when she was killed in a crash have spoken of their “profound grief” as the driver responsible apologised in court.

Poppy Crozier, 19, was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Dukes Highway at Ki Ki, south of Tailem Bend, on May 26 last year.

On Tuesday, the District Court heard it was a dark and rainy Friday night when Jake Frederick Stock, now 19, was driving towards Adelaide and overtook a truck when it was “plainly not safe to do so”.

Jake Frederick Stock has previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.(ABC News: Sophie Holder)

Stock has since pleaded guilty to causing Poppy’s death by dangerous driving.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Poppy’s parents, Asha and Charles Crozier, said their daughter was a young woman with “incredible potential that she will never fulfil.”

“As parents, the grief of losing a child is profound, and the trauma of how Poppy died carries an additional level of pain and complexity,” her mother said.

“The grief is bittersweet, as it’s everyday reminders of Poppy that keep her memory alive while simultaneously reminding us of what we desperately miss.”

Ms Crozier said they appeared in court, which was full of their daughter’s friends and family, to honour her memory.

“We have tried to focus our energy on finding some small way of directing our grief into something that will make Poppy be remembered for how she lived, and keep her dreams alive, not how she died,” she said.

“We do not want her to be remembered as the 19-year-old … who died in a horror crash at Ki Ki. She was so much more than this.”

“We want her remembered as a much-loved daughter, sister, niece, grandchild, girlfriend, friend and workmate.”

The court heard Poppy’s partner was heartbroken over losing his “soulmate”.

“The night of Friday the 26th of May 2023, my life with Poppy stopped in an instance. It was the most devastating news I’d ever experienced.”

An apology to the family

Lawyer James Marcus read a letter to the court written by Stock, in which he told Poppy’s family he was “so sorry” for his actions.

“I know I have caused pain for you and everybody around you, and I recognise that nothing I could do or say could take back what I did,” he said.

“However, I do want everyone involved to know that I haven’t taken this matter lightly and it will sit with me in whatever I do, no matter what.

“I realise my mistake, and I regret it more than anything, and most of all I am sorry for dear Poppy, whose life was cut short because of me.”

Mr Marcus said Stock, who was aged 18 at the time of the crash, was an inexperienced driver who made a dangerous decision.

He told Judge Jane Schammer she must sentence Stock to a term of imprisonment, but urged her to suspend the term, or order it be served on home detention.

“The question is whether or not that can be suspended or be served by way of home detention,” he said.

But a prosecutor told the court the offending was too serious for a suspended sentence or home detention.

“The considerations of general deterrence and community protection require a sentence of immediate imprisonment,” she said.

“In my submission, offending like this happens too frequently in our community and requires that the defendant’s conduct be firmly denounced.

“Any sentence that your honour imposes needs to send a clear message to the community about the consequences that will apply … if our road rules are not abided by.”

Judge Schammer will sentence Stock, who also faces a minimum 10-year loss of licence, later this month.