News

Teen facing crash trial

Daily Examiner

A TEENAGER sat in the dock of Grafton District Court yesterday charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death.

The young man, who was under 18 at the time of the head-on collision on Friday, March 12, 2010, cannot be identified due to legal restrictions and the court was closed to the public.

Two people, a 61-year-old man and his 64-year-old wife from Ner- ang, were killed in the Pacific Hwy crash which occurred at 8am on Friday, March 12, 2010 about 15km south of New Italy.

The couple were travelling south in their blue 1990 Holden Commodore sedan while the young person and one passenger, also a teenage boy, were heading north, also in a Commodore.

A jury was empanelled yesterday morning and the court heard from witnesses who either saw the collision or arrived at the scene immediately after impact.

Several witnesses said the weather at the time was characterised by light intermittent rain.

Truck driver Lucas Lavelle told the court he was travelling north when the young person's car had overtaken him in an overtaking lane at an approximate speed of 110-120kmh.

Under questioning from defence counsel Luke Brasch, Mr Lavelle accepted that the young man could have been travelling at a lower speed.

Mr Brasch read to the court Mr Lavelle's earlier statement which outlined how the overtaking lane merged back into one lane before the road took a slight bend followed by a long straight stretch.

Mr Brasch recalled Mr Lavelle's testimony that the young person's car was several hundred metres ahead of him when it veered "inexplicably" into oncoming traffic.

Mr Lavelle said the teenager's car was about 300m ahead when it began veering.

However Mr Brasch questioned Mr Lavelle's ability to accurately recall the distance.

"You didn't see the car slide out or fishtail did you," Mr Brasch asked.

"No," said Mr Lavelle.

Suzanne White told the court she was travelling south on the highway at the time of the crash and said the cars had appeared to go up into the air when they hit each other.

Ms White said she tried to pull up as quickly as possible and though she was able to move to the left, her driver's side mirror broke off as it clipped one of the cars involved in the collision.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.

Topics:  dangerous driving, grafton district court


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