Justin Tate was looking forward to having two days off work.
But the 44-year-old butcher was found with methylamphetamine in his blood after he collided with another vehicle on a rural Victorian road in January 2019, killing an elderly woman and seriously injuring her husband.
Tate appeared via video link before Judge Gerard Mullaly at the Victorian County Court on Monday, charged with one count of culpable driving causing death and two counts of negligently causing injury.
He was driving about 70 km/h in the middle of an Anakie road, heading into a bend, before striking Peter and Gleeda Hooper, aged 81 and 76, the court heard.
Tate was found with drugs and a syringe on him, crown prosecutor Grant Hayward told the plea hearing, and later told police he had last used ice either on the morning of the crash or the day before.
He told police he had been feeling "happy and excited" after finishing work at 11am - about an hour before the crash - with two days off to come.
But he began to feel "weary and drowsy" after getting behind the wheel.
Mr Hayward said the Crown would argue Tate drove with enough ice in his system to not be able to maintain proper control of the vehicle.
Defence lawyer Stephanie Wallace is expected to argue Tate was not intoxicated, but instead suffering from rebound fatigue - delayed fatigue from overexertion and stimulants in previous days.
Clinton Ellery, a witness who lived nearby the crash on De Motts Road, said he heard a "loud thudding noise" followed by a car horn that continued to sound afterwards.
Mr Ellery said he first checked on Tate, who lay under a tree and complained of stomach pains, before noticing the couple from Meredith.
The Hoopers were responsive, he said, but appeared in shock.
"He (Peter Hooper) said to me 'I don't know what happened ... if the guy had a heart attack or something - he just drove straight at us,'" Mr Ellery told the court.
Another witness, Jennifer McKinley, said Tate told her he "fell asleep" before the crash.
The plea hearing before Judge Mullaly continues.
Australian Associated Press