Police likely to charge driver in fatal head-on crash

Written By komlim puldel on Senin, 29 Desember 2014 | 20.01

A Major Crash Investigation Branch officer photographs the car involved in the fatal crash near Clarendon. Picture Roger Wyman Source: News Corp Australia

The scene of the fatal road accident near Whyalla. Picture: First On Scene Media Pty Ltd Source: Supplied

The scene of the fatal road accident near Whyalla. Picture: First On Scene Media Pty Ltd Source: Supplied

Police at the scene of the fatal crash on the Sturt Highway, near Shea-Oak Log. Picture: Roger Wyman Source: News Corp Australia

Police say they're shocked at what some drivers are doing on our roads this festive season

A DRIVER who survived a head-on crash that killed two people near Whyalla during a horror 24 hours on the state's roads is likely to face criminal charges, police say.

Four friends were returning from Coffin Bay when a Nissan Patrol crossed to the wrong side of the Lincoln Highway, about 30km south of Whyalla, at 12.30am on Monday.

The driver of a blue Mitsubishi Pajero — a Whyalla Norrie man, 24 — and a rear passenger — a Whyalla Norrie woman, 24 — both died at the scene.

Two other passengers in the Pajero — a Whyalla Stuart woman, 25, and a Whyalla Stuart man, 23 — were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The driver and sole occupant of the white Nissan Patrol, a Whyalla man, 36, was also taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The double fatality marked a shocking 24 hours, in which four people died, taking the December road toll to 16, our worst for the month since 2006.

Traffic Support Branch officer-in-charge Superintendent Bob Fauser said police were investigating suicide as one of the lines of inquiry in the Eyre Peninsula crash.

Supt Fauser said it would be several days before they could speak to the surviving driver, who is recovering in the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

"It is likely that charges will be laid against the surviving driver," he said.

"As best as we can tell at this early stage of the investigation, (the victims) were on the correct side of the road and the oncoming vehicle has passed on to the incorrect side of the road.

"At this time we do not have sufficient information to give anything more about those particular circumstances."

Supt Fauser said the victims had been "in the wrong place at the wrong time".

Whyalla police Senior Constable Matthew McDonnell said the four people in the Pajero were friends and well respected in the small township.

He said he had spoken to some of the victims' families, who were devastated by their loss and were struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"There will be a lot of confusion in the town as well and it will be hard to answer questions about how this accident happened, especially at this time of year," he said.

"All the people involved live in Whyalla or were from Whyalla originally, so people in town will know everyone involved in one way or another."

Snr Const McDonnell said the group was returning from a university research trip at Coffin Bay, where the 24-year-old driver was studying.

In a separate crash eight hours later, a Hackham West man died when his Nissan hatchback collided with a Mitsubishi Pajero and then crashed into a tree on Piggot Range Rd, near Clarendon, just before 8.30am.

Supt Fauser said the driver had misjudged the conditions on a slippery road.

On Sunday, a Northern Territory man, 34, died when his car rolled on the Sturt Highway near Shea-Oak Log in the Barossa Valley.

Supt Fauser said the man was speeding, drink-driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

"These are three very different crashes, but regardless of their differences the trauma for the family and close friends of these people must be terrible," he said.

The state's road toll is 104 compared with 98 at the same time last year.

For more information about suicide, or if you feel you need help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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