RELIEF AT LAST: Fern Horne (left) and her daughter-in-law Juanita leave the Rockhampton court house.
RELIEF AT LAST: Fern Horne (left) and her daughter-in-law Juanita leave the Rockhampton court house. SEVEN NEWS

Man jailed for 18 months over death of father and son

ONE second can change a life forever. For Anthony Glen Costin, this one second led to one word - guilty.

As the verdict was read out in the Rockhampton District Court on Wednesday, the 52-year-old Capalaba man's wife burst into tears.

Costin was charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and grievous bodily harm after his light truck veered into the opposite lane and collided head-on with another vehicle on the Bruce Hwy near Gladstone on June 27, 2010.

The crash seriously injured Caboolture's Juanita Horne and her daughter Cady and killed her husband Richard and their son Isaac, 8.

In a statement read out in court, Ms Horne called Richard her "best friend" and said the loss of her son was "indescribable".

Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips said the defendant was grossly fatigued at the time of the accident, despite a number of naps, and this severely impaired his driving ability.

"Fatigue has been recognised as one of the leading causes of road deaths," he said.

"There needs to be a general deterrent."

Mr Phillips acknowledged Costin was seriously injured in the crash and that he was co-operative with the administration of justice.

Defence barrister Chris Wilson said Costin owned a sign writing business and was used to driving long distances and long hours at night.

He said subjectively, his client was trying to do the right thing by taking breaks.

The court heard Costin, who can't remember the accident, was extremely remorseful.

"He is greatly saddened by the consequences of this collision," Mr Wilson said.

Judge Paul Smith sentenced Costin to four years jail, suspended after 18 months.

Costin was also disqualified from driving for three years.

Outside the court room, Richard's mother Fern Horne said she was relieved with the outcome.