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A learner driver who lost control and crashed into a power pole in a horror crash allegedly got behind the wheel while his license was suspended due to unpaid fines, a court heard.
Jordan Tye Maaka, 18, was charged with dangerous driving resulting in serious bodily harm, reckless driving resulting in serious bodily harm, three counts of causing injury while in charge of a motor vehicle, and driving while suspended.
His four teenage passengers were seriously injured after their Honda Accord crashed while rounding a bend on Stoney Creek Road, Beverly Hills, in south Sydney on Friday morning.
The accident was eerily similar to the one that tragically killed five students in Buxton, south-west of Sydney, just ten days earlier.
Police at a Parramatta Bail Court hearing on Sunday alleged that Maaka “was consuming alcohol while he was driving” at the time of the crash.
But Magistrate Sharon Holdsworth rebuked the investigator’s claims, calling her evidence “poorly worded” and granted her bail before her next court appearance this week.
“There is no evidence to substantiate speed or alcohol consumption,” he told the court, The Daily Telegraph reported.
“I cannot see any evidence pointing to the individual’s (Maaka) misconduct while he was in charge of the motor vehicle.”
Maaka appeared at the hearing via video link from his hospital bed, where he was under police guard and suffering from a variety of injuries, including a broken arm.
“It is only by sheer luck that the collision did not result in the deaths of all five teenagers,” the police fact sheet said.
The police prosecutor opposed Maaka’s bail request, telling the court that he had a suspended license at the time of the accident due to unpaid fines.
The prosecutor also referred to the recent fatal accident in Buxton.
He also claimed that Maaka was speeding and used a Google Maps image to show the distance between the curve and the house the car crashed into.
Justice Holdsworth acknowledged that while the magnitude of the impact may lead to speeding, “I don’t accept it by looking at Google Maps.”
Maaka, under her bail conditions, must accompany her mother whenever she leaves the house, unless she goes to her job loading trucks at a furniture factory.
She will appear in Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, three of the four passengers remain in the hospital two days after the accident.
Two female passengers, both aged 16, were taken to St George’s Hospital in stable condition.
One of the girls is believed to have injuries to her hip and chest, while the other woman has a head injury.
Two male passengers, aged 15 and 16, were also treated at the scene and taken to Liverpool Hospital in stable condition. One has since been released.
The incident comes just days after a horror crash in Buxton, near Picton, in south-west Sydney, which killed five teenagers aged between 14 and 16.
Tyrell Edwards, 18, faces five counts of dangerous driving after his five passengers were killed in a high-speed crash on the night of September 6.
The three girls and two boys who died in the crash were all friends from Picton High School.
Antonio Desisto, Tyrese Bechard, Summer Williams, Lily Van De Putte and Gabriella McLennan, all aged between 14 and 16, were killed when a Nissan Navara ute skidded off the road in Buxton.
The driver, Edwards, escaped the crash with non-life-threatening injuries and remains behind bars.
The last two funerals for the victims will be held on Monday.
Quick and Facts
- Five teens, aged between 15 and 18, injured in a crash in Sydney’s Beverly Hills
- Two females and two males were taken to hospital with serious injuries
- Driver, 18, also taken hospital and later charged with a string of offences
- Police prosecutors opposed bail for alleged driver Jordan Tye Maaka at hearing
- Magistrate said no evidence supported claims speed or consumption of alcohol
- The incident comes 10 days after five teens were killed in horror crash at Buxton