The day after Gregory Diven woke from an induced coma his wife, Marie, died from the catastrophic injuries she'd suffered when their ute was hit by a car driven by a drug-affected P-plater.
The couple had been planning their retirement together.
Anthony Hori Kopura was convicted for the crime and sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court. He was handed a non-parole period of 18 months.
"I accept the offender is genuinely remorseful and feels the need to be punished," Judge Leonie Flannery told him.
The 19-year-old had pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of ice and THC - found in cannabis - when he crashed his car in October 2017, causing death and grievous bodily harm.
Ms Diven, 63, died in hospital from heart, kidney and liver failure three weeks after the Lucas Heights collision.
Her husband of 23 years had to learn how to walk again and remains affected by his injuries every day.
"We were just starting to plan our retired life together when her life was snuffed out by the reckless behaviour of Mr Kopura," Mr Diven said in a victim impact statement tendered in court.
"I think of her many times every day and miss her terribly but I am left and must carry on without her support and love."
While giving evidence earlier on Thursday, Kopura looked Mr Diven in the eye and said: "Sorry, I really am sorry. For that whole day, for that whole weekend. Nothing can bring her back but I'm very sorry".
The 19-year-old said he'd been drinking with workmates on the Saturday afternoon and took ice between 3pm and 5pm before leaving Bankstown at 10pm to party at a nightclub in Cronulla.
The group returned to Bankstown by 4am on the Sunday and "just had some cones and went to bed", he said.
Kopura woke at midday, started driving at 4pm and crashed into the Divens about an hour later.
Mr McCallum asked: "Did you know that you were responsible for the crash as soon as you saw the other car?"
"Yes," Kopura replied.
He has no memory of the collision.
The teenager was on his way to see a counsellor when he got the phone call telling him Ms Diven had died.
"I kind of broke down then and there," he said.
He was working as a scaffolder before the crash but says he has not been motivated to do anything since.
Kopura could not explain why he chose to drive the car while impaired by drugs but has pledged to undertake rehabilitation programs in jail.
His family cried, saluted and waved as he was taken from the dock.
"It's a mistake about which he will carry the burden of guilt probably for the rest of his life," his barrister, David McCallum, said.
Kopura will be eligible for parole in August 2020 and disqualified from driving for two years upon his release.