“It just breaks my heart, you know, I am so sorry. I wish I was dead instead of that person that died. I wish I was instead of him, I wish it was me,” Sameri said during his record of interview.
“I don’t really know what to say. I’m really sorry. I’m sorry to the family of the guy who lost his life.”
At a pre-sentence hearing in the County Court on Wednesday, defence lawyer Rahmin de Kretser said these emotions continued to consume his client.
“He is genuinely and profoundly sorry,” Mr de Krester said, as Sameri wept in the dock.
“He’s asked me again to apologise on his behalf for what he did that morning.”
The court heard Sameri had only slept for 5½ hours the evening before the crash.
He stopped at a 7-Eleven for coffee before falling asleep at the wheel for about one or two seconds.
He kept driving before he ran a red light and ploughed into Mr Waters, who was thrown from his mountain bike and died at the scene.
Sameri told officers he’d fallen asleep or blacked out before hearing a loud bang and seeing Mr Waters’ helmet hit the windscreen.
Mr Waters had migrated from Britain to Australia two years ago with his wife Paula, his childhood sweetheart of 27 years, and sons Kieran and Kyle.
At the time of his death, he had been working as a Metro Trains contractor on a temporary skilled visa.
“My whole life and future has been changed due to a tragic accident that should have never happened,” Mrs Waters said in a statement read to the court.
The family now faces the prospect of being sent back to the UK.
Mr de Krester told the court Sameri fled Iran as a young boy and came to Australia by boat, promising his parents he would make something of his life.
Sameri had no criminal history, co-operated with police and pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity, he said.
He has also written an apology letter to the Waters family.
Judge Paul Lacava adjourned the hearing until December 7 for Sameri to undergo a youth justice assessment and psychological evaluation.