The father of the Invercargill nurse who died following a crash late last year says the driver who caused the accident "gave his family a life sentence".

Bruce Duncan read a victim impact statement to the High Court at Invercargill yesterday, during the sentencing of Dejay Rawiri Kane for the crash which killed 37-year-old Emma Bagley on December 7.

Bagley died when the car she was in with her husband and their two children was T-boned by the car Kane was driving at the intersection of Newcastle and Clifton Sts in Windsor.

Kane, who was disqualified from driving at the time of the crash, was found to be three times the legal alcohol limit and it was estimated he was driving at 121km/h.

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Kane had pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and four counts of reckless driving causing injury - today he was sentenced by Justice David Gendall to four years and eight months in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for six years.

Dejay Rawiri Kane was sentenced in the High Court at Invercargill yesterday.
Dejay Rawiri Kane was sentenced in the High Court at Invercargill yesterday.

The defendant cried in the dock as Justice Gendall read the summary of facts.

Family and friends of the nurse and the defendant were present at the public gallery.

Her father became emotional while he read the statement - he said since the accident, he and his wife had to endure a situation which "no parents and grandparents should ever have to suffer".

"Unfortunately, scenarios such ours are becoming all too frequent in our communities and some individuals show scant regard for the law."

He said his two grandchildren were in pain, distress and were asking for their parents.

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So, one day after the crash, he had to sit and explain the situation to the two children - he said telling them that their mother had died and their father was in a serious condition at the hospital was "no doubt the most challenging'' thing he had to do.

He said the screams of the children were heartbreaking.

Another challenging moment was when he was organising the funeral and service for their "young daughter".

He said the family decided to include the children in the arrangements.

"Witnessing Eva choosing her mummy's final bed, checking if it was lovely and soft for her mummy, was absolutely devastating.''

Crown prosecutor Riki Donnelly said this was not a "one-off trip" - Kane drove recklessly on the wrong side of the road, fishtailing at high speed.

Defence counsel Bill Dawkins said his client was extremely remorseful and wrote a letter to Bagley's family.

He also said he visited Kane in jail last week and read to him the victim impact statement.

Kane replied that "jail was the easy bit. I have to wake up every day knowing what I have done".

Taine Rupena Tata Bryn Edwards, who was sitting in the passenger seat of Kane's car at the time, was present in the public gallery.

He pleaded not guilty to one charge of being party to manslaughter by inciting and encouraging the driver to operate a vehicle recklessly, thereby causing death.

He also faces three counts of inciting and encouraging the driver to operate a vehicle recklessly, thereby causing injury - his next appearance is on December 10.