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Daughter forgives garbage truck driver for running over mother

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The daughter of an elderly Sydney woman who was run over and killed by a garbage truck has told the driver she forgives him as he awaits sentencing over the death.

Ruiming Zhang, 83, was hit by the truck during her morning walk in Sydney's Chester Hill on February 23, 2021.

Christopher Sultana, 34, pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning death over the incident and is due to be sentenced on Wednesday afternoon.

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Zhang's daughter, Cynthia Zhang, read a victim impact statement at Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday in her native language of Mandarin which was translated by her own daughter.

She told the court while the pain of losing her mother was immense, her Christian faith had given her comfort and the strength to forgive the man who caused her mother's death.

"I have chosen to forgive you Sultana because God has forgiven me for my sins," she said.

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"Every time my mother went out on her daily walks, she smiled and said hello to passers-by and neighbours, and everyone who knew her remembered her."

Sultana was performing a three-point turn at the time of the incident and claims he didn't see Zhang.

The court heard via expert testimony she was likely hidden from view in the vehicle's blind-spots.

Earlier in the judge-only trial, Judge Sophia Beckett found Sultana not guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death, saying she was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt his manner of driving at the time was dangerous.

Two other charges of failing to give way to a pedestrian and disobey a no right turn sign were withdrawn.

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"Because of your mistakes a daughter has lost her mum and these grandchildren have lost their last remaining grandparent," Zhang told Sultana.

"Why couldn't you have been more careful?"

Sultana also took to the witness stand on Wednesday to read from an affidavit expressing his remorse and how "truly and deeply sorry" he is for the family.

"I've wished over and over that I could restart that day," he said.

"I want (the family) to know that regardless of the outcome of the final court day, this is something I will carry with me the rest of my life."



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