6 April 2021

'Worst I've seen': manslaughter charge for driver of Monaro Highway collision

| Michael Weaver
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Monaro Highway fatality

One of the vehicles is removed from the Monaro Highway accident scene at Hume. Photo: Region Media.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter, aggravated dangerous driving, level four drink driving and driving with a prescribed drug in oral fluid following a fatal collision on the Monaro Highway that killed rising CBR Brave ice hockey star Lachlan Seary.

The fatal collision occurred at about 1:20 am on 8 March. It involved a Toyota Corolla and a Honda sedan on a straight stretch of the Monaro Highway about 400-metres south of the Tralee St intersection near Hume.

Police will allege the offending driver was captured by a fixed speed camera on the Monaro Highway, Fyshwick at a speed of 149 km/h in a 100 km/h zone just before the collision.

Further analysis of CCTV recordings of the Honda Civic at locations along the Monaro Highway indicated it was travelling at speeds exceeding 160 km/h in the 80 km/h zone moments before the collision.

The result of mandatory blood testing following the collision indicated the driver of the Civic had a blood alcohol level of 0.186. MDMA was also detected. Further blood analysis is in progress.

Mr Seary was the fourth person to die on ACT roads and the second to die on the Monaro Highway this year.

Officer-in-charge of ACT Policing’s road policing Detective Inspector Donna Hoffmeier said the Corolla vaulted the safety barrier, rolled and hit a tree. The impact extensively damaged both vehicles.

After consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Det Insp Hoffmeier said the charge of manslaughter was an indication of the seriousness of the collision.

Detective Inspector Donna Hoffmeier

“We can’t get the message out enough,” says Detective Inspector Donna Hoffmeier at the accident scene. Photo: Region Media.

“Investigations through ACT Policing’s major collision team have shown that the victim’s car was hit from behind, causing it to leave the road and hit a tree,” Det Insp Hoffmeier said today (1 April).

Det Insp Hoffmeier also said Mr Seary was a completely innocent party and played no part in the collision.

“The 19-year-old was a completely innocent party in this collision. There was no street racing and no interactions between the two drivers before the two cars collided.

“We are more than frustrated that we are in the media all the time telling members of the public to slow down and not to drink and drive,” she said.

“In this case, it’s a needless and senseless loss of life. Two families have been deeply impacted and a young man is dead, and another young man now faces serious criminal charges in relation to his actions.”

READ ALSO Brave pay tribute to fallen player who died in Hume car crash

Det Insp Hoffmeier said the road safety message had added significance heading into the Easter long weekend.

“In my experience, this was one of the worst incidents I’ve seen in my career. Last year, we had six fatalities. This year, we’ve had four already.

“We can’t get the message out enough.”

The 28-year-old man is scheduled to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on 24 June.

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consumeradvocatecanberra7:41 pm 01 Apr 21

Isn’t it about time we took drug and drug taking, especially whilst driving much more seriously. No excuses! Go to jail, do not pass go, your choice, a bullet or the next 40 years in jail. Penalties to match the crime. Brick walls! At senior age, you get sick of hearing the message. We still ,despite the work of the Police, “allow” drug taking. The limp wristed brigade want rights. How about the rights of the family who will no longer see the loved ones again? They are always forgotten, and invariably it is the courts who screw up. Want to change society for the better Ministers. You know what to do. It always seems to happen to the innocent who forfeit their lives, not the guilty. Maybe that needs to change. They ought to lose the right to enjoy freedom forever.

Robert Eckley4:02 pm 02 Apr 21

agree , totally with your comments.

Bit narrow minded, was it in intentional? you wouldn’t be saying that if it was your child on the drugs who did this. Horrible incident that has destroyed many lives 40 years in jail won’t change that.

If it was my child I’d be asking the courts to throw the book at them. They made the decision to take drugs, they made the decision to get behind the wheel and their decisions resulted in the death of an innocent third party. Anybody trying to defend the actions of drink and drug drivers are just as bad as the drivers themselves.

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