The grieving widow of a man killed in a car crash told the woman at fault that the "overwhelming feelings of sadness" never go away.

Kobie Hetet, the widow of crash victim Adrian Hetet, made the comment as she read her victim impact statement to Waikato woman Olivia Kellie Miller in the Tauranga District Court on Tuesday.

Miller, 19, was appearing for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to aggravated careless driving while under the influence of alcohol, causing Adrian Hetet's death and injuring Kobie Hetet.

Miller, who was on a restricted licence, was driving fatigued and had drunk alcohol before the October 28 crash on State Highway 29 near the junction of Omanawa Rd.

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Adrian Hetet died at the scene and his wife, seated beside him, was knocked unconscious.

Her right eye socket had five breaks, her right cheekbone was crushed and her jaw broken. She needed facial reconstruction surgery.

Kobie Hetet also needed ongoing orthodontic surgery to re-align her teeth.

The Hetets' 10-year-old son in the back seat escaped injury.

Miller was treated at Tauranga Hospital for a concussion and minor injuries.

During the emotionally-charged sentencing hearing, Kobie Hetet wept as she described how her life had been changed forever.

"I have lost my husband, who was my biggest supporter and the rock in my life, and our son has lost his dad, who was his hero," she said.

"Trying to put into words the huge emotional toll this has taken on me and my son is impossible to explain and I feel emotionally and physically drained.

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"Financially and emotionally it has created a lot of pressure for me and it's been a huge struggle to keep going.

"The one person I need when things get tough is not here anymore. Adrian was my go-to person for everything, and the overwhelming feelings of sadness are there all the time.

"I have been handed a life I didn't ask for and don't need, and for my son to lose his father in this way, is something no 10-year-old should ever have to experience," she said.

Miller's lawyer Bill Lawson unsuccessfully argued for a sentence of community detention and community work given his client's age and otherwise unblemished character.

Lawson also argued Miller deserved "significant" credit for her willingness to attend a restorative justice meeting, and her offer of pay up to $5000 in reparation.

"It was a harrowing process for everyone concerned," he said.

Judge Christina Cook said there was clear evidence of poor driving by Miller before the crash, and her decision to drive fatigued and after drinking led to this "hugely tragic" outcome.

"After reading the restorative justice meeting report and hearing from Mrs Hetet I am sure this has had a profound impact on everybody's life," she said.

Judge Cook said in her view, four-and-half months' home detention was the appropriate outcome given all the circumstances. She ordered Miller to pay $10,000 reparation.

The judge also disqualified Miller from driving for two years.

Outside the court, Kobie Hetet said she was disappointed by Miller's sentence.