Aspiring photographer Sarah Frazer had spent months travelling the world solo with just her camera, often in developing countries and off the beaten track.
So when the 23-year-old was driving to Wagga Wagga from the family home in the Blue Mountains, her parents Peter and Judy thought she would be safe.
But Ms Frazer's dream of studying photography at university was shattered when she was hit and killed by a truck on the Hume Highway near Mittagong on February 15, 2012.
The car she had bought to drive to Charles Sturt University had broken down and, as it was loaded on to a tow truck, a courier truck driven by Kaine Daniel Barnett smashed into it.
Ms Frazer and the tow truck driver, father-of-four, Geoffrey Clark were killed.
Last month, Barnett, 27, was found guilty by a jury on two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
The Crown alleged Barnett must have been distracted for almost eight seconds to have missed the hazard and flashing lights on the side of the road.
In a sentencing hearing in the Sydney District Court on Friday, Sarah's parents wept as they gave a shared victim-impact statement.
"We felt relieved she was back in Australia and we believed she would be safe," Mrs Frazer said.
"Sarah said, 'I've looked after myself travelling in Third World countries, you don't need to worry about me, I'm only just going to Wagga,' " Mr Frazer quoted her as saying.
In a victim-impact statement read by a friend, Mr Clark's wife, Samantha, said she recognised her husband's tow truck on TV news coverage of the double fatality.
She said she was unable to tell her four boys the dreadful news and police officers had to break their father's death to them.
"I never thought I would find myself alone to raise four young sons," Mrs Clark said.
"Geoff knew them from the day they were born; he loved and nurtured them and supported them only as a father could."
The court heard Barnett was driving for Barnetts Couriers, a company set up by his grandfather, Bob, and which he is expected to take over.
Since the crash his licence has been suspended and he has been working in the depot.
Judge Stephen Hanley was told Barnett was not speeding, was not affected by drugs or alcohol and there was no evidence he was using a mobile phone at the time. But he was a professional driver who had driven on that highway many times.
Outside the court, Mr Frazer said: "We feel very sorry for Kaine and for his family but at the same time, of course, it shattered our lives and it's something that continues on a day to day basis.
"We're hoping that on the 24th of April at sentencing that this will at least bring some closure for the family and friends."
He will be sentenced on April 24.