An inexperienced teenage driver who caused the death of 19-year-old Poppy Crozier last year has been jailed for three years, with a judge saying his crime was “too serious” for the sentence to be suspended.

Jake Frederick Stock, 19, was driving on the Dukes Highway at Ki Ki in South Australia’s south-east on a wet Friday night in May last year when he caused a crash which killed Ms Crozier.

Stock started to overtake when it was not safe to do so and hit Ms Crozier’s car, pushing it into the path of a truck.

Ms Crozier died on impact and Stock later pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

In sentencing, District Court judge Jane Schammer said Stock’s offending did not involve any aggravating features such as drugs, alcohol or street racing, “but rather was the product of gross misjudgement, immaturity and naivety”.

Jake Frederick Stock was sentenced to three years and two months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years.(ABC News: Sophie Holder)

She said Stock mistook an oncoming overtaking lane for a lane in his favour as he approached a sweeping right-hand bend, and started overtaking a prime mover truck.

“You also saw the oncoming headlights and started to speed up, to try and get past the prime mover,” Judge Schammer said.

“Tragically as you started to come back onto the correct side of the road, the front driver’s side of your vehicle collided with the front driver’s side of the vehicle in the overtaking lane — propelling that vehicle into the path of [an oncoming truck].”

‘Whole adult life ahead of her’

Judge Schammer said those oncoming headlights belonged to Ms Crozier, who was travelling back to her hometown of Keith in the state’s south-east after a week of studying and working in Adelaide.

“Poppy was a vibrant young woman with her whole adult life ahead of her … [and] it is simply impossible to describe or even understand the depth of grief suffered by her family and friends,” she said.

Judge Schammer said she accepted that Stock’s apology letter, which was read to the court during his sentencing submissions hearing, was a true reflection of how he felt.

“For the first six to seven months after the accident you struggled to sleep and suffered nightmares – you still have difficulties sleeping for more than a few hours a night and experience intrusive memories of the accident,” she said.

“You have not returned to the scene of the accident … [and] you now fully appreciate the risks inherently associated with driving.

“I accept that the offending has had a significant impact on you.”

Poppy Crozier’s parents leave court after the sentence was imposed.(ABC News)

Stock, who had been on bail, listened intently to Judge Schammer as she jailed him for three years and two months and set a non-parole period of two years.

“I consider the offending is simply too serious for me to find good reason to suspend a term of imprisonment imposed,” she told Stock.

Judge Schammer said the circumstances of Stock’s offending were also too serious to consider home detention.

“You must serve the sentence imposed,” she said.

Ms Crozier’s family were emotional as they sat in court throughout the hearing. 

They declined to comment on the term imposed as they left.

Members of Stock’s family were also visibly emotional as his sentence was handed down.