8 July 2021

Claims alleged driver in fatal crash unfit to enter plea

| Albert McKnight
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Ameen Hamdan

Ameen Hamdan (second from right, with a short beard) leaves the ACT Courts earlier this year. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A court has heard there are questions over whether or not the teenager accused of being behind the wheel of the crash that killed 16-year-old Alexis Saaghy is fit enough to enter a plea.

ACT Policing has accused Ameen Hamdan of being the driver of the Nissan Navara that hit a tree on Longmore Crescent in Wanniassa early in the morning of 31 October 2020.

Mr Hamdan, then an 18-year-old P-plater, and two passengers were transported to hospital with minor injuries.

But Alexis, the front-seat passenger, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. She died on 3 November.

READ MORE “A life can change in the blink of an eye” – a family’s plea for road safety

Mr Hamdan, 19, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (8 July) for a brief mention of his case.

A number of Alexis’s family also came to court for the hearing.

Alexis Saaghy in passenger seat of car making peace sign.

Alexis Saaghy will be remembered as a selfless and compassionate soul. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Hamdan’s lawyer, Mr Chen from Legal Aid, sought an eight-week adjournment, claiming there were “serious questions” over whether or not his client was fit to plead following the alleged offence and he was seeking an assessment on the matter.

Magistrate Beth Campbell granted the adjournment, saying the case would next appear in court on 2 September.

Mr Hamdan has been charged with culpable driving causing death and contravening the conditions of a driver’s licence.

In April, Alexis’s mother, Claire Wood, who was there when her daughter’s life support was turned off, told Region Media about the heart-breaking pain of losing her daughter, saying it was like being in “a nightmare you can’t wake up from”.

READ MORE Car crash that killed Alexis Saaghy leaves family in ‘indescribable pain’

“It rips your soul to pieces knowing that her life, her essence, her being has been ripped from this earth 60 years too soon,” she said.

Ms Wood said that for the rest of her and her family’s lives, they would “live with indescribable, horrific pain”.

“She wanted to be a mother, see the world and help others, and all of it is gone now,” she said.

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