CRASH SCENE: Robert Walton, 53, died when his motorcycle collided with a Holden Commodore on the Gwydir Highway at Waterview Heights in August, 2017.
CRASH SCENE: Robert Walton, 53, died when his motorcycle collided with a Holden Commodore on the Gwydir Highway at Waterview Heights in August, 2017. Clair Morton

Alleged drugged driver to face trial over fatal crash

A WATERVIEW Heights man will stand trial next year over a fatal collision on the Gwydir Highway last year that killed a motorcyclist.

Sonny Sylvester Hancox, 43, was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death while driving in a dangerous manner and while under the influence following a collision between his Holden Commodore and a motorcycle on August 28, 2017.

The motorcyclist, 53-year-old Robert Walton, died while en route to Grafton Base Hospital.

Police allege Mr Hancox crossed double white lines and failed to give way at an intersection while driving under the influence of marijuana at the time of the collision.

In Grafton Local Court on Wednesday, Mr Hancox's defence team put forward a submission to have the forensic doctor that conducted the mandatory blood and urine testing of Mr Hancox present at a committal hearing to be cross-examined on the evidence, as well as put forward their own medical specialist.

However, Magistrate Karen Stafford denied the application, and said it was not in the interest of justice to have the doctor's evidence cross-examined at a committal hearing when it could be done at trial.

Ms Stafford said the questioning of the doctor would not assist the defence prepare for trial, and doubted the defence's assertions that the cross-examination would lead to a discharge of the accused.

Mr Hancox waived his committal hearing, with a District Court call-over to take place on February 6 next year, and a trial date to be set for later in 2019.



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