The alleged driver of the car involved in a crash which killed a 19-year-old Ballarat man on New Year’s Eve will plead not guilty.
Gemma Sargent, 18, was committed to stand trial in the County Court following the conclusion of a three-day committal hearing on Wednesday.
Sargent faces 12 charges, which include multiple driving offences including one count of culpable driving resulting in the death of 19-year-old Nathaniel Merritt-Price, who was a rear passenger in the car she was alleged to have been driving when it crashed on Buninyong-Mount Mercer Road on December 31.
A female passenger also suffered a brain injury as a result of the serious crash, the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court also heard.
A total of ten witnesses were called to give evidence over the three-day hearing, which had been part-heard since July.
RELATED STORIES | Day one of the committal hearing
The final four witnesses, including a rear passenger of the car and a physician, gave evidence on Wednesday.
The physician, who treated one of the female passengers, told the court the young woman was treated for bruising on the brain, scalp lacerations, a fractured spine, and multiple soft tissue injuries.
He told the court the female now had problems with memory loss.
The female passenger was seated in the left rear seat of the car, next to her boyfriend at the time in the middle and Nathaniel on the right.
The rear middle passenger told the court while he originally thought the accused was driving at 140km/h, he conceded he never looked at the car’s speedo. He also said he was not paying much attention to Sargent’s driving and can only remember a flash before the crash.
Also giving evidence, Detective Leading Senior Constable Robert Hay told the court he examined the scene of the crash and conducted several re-enactments with a similar vehicle.
He told the court the car yawed before flipping and rolling through a fence, with 98 metres of tyre marks evident on the stretch of road.
He was asked whether the inflation pressure of the tyre could have effected the drag, in which he replied there was no evidence of flat tyres in the skids.
Another detective who examined the car for pre-accident mechanical issues said while one tyre only had 2ml of tread, and another 4ml, there was no evidence to suggest the tyres were deflated before the incident.
The trial is expected to take 10 days.
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