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CHARLES Monks was not distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he drive on the wrong side of the road, before crashing into another car, killing Muswellbrook’s Nicole Rayner, Newcastle District Court has heard.
Mr Monks, 23, is accused of dangerous drive occasioning death after his ute collided with Ms Rayner’s caron December 29, 2015, on the New England Highway at Whittingham.
Mr Monks’trial heard on Tuesday that the central issue would be whether the Singleton Heights man suffered a seizure in the moments before his Volkswagen Amarok struck the Holden Barina head on.
The 23-year-old had been returning home from a fishing trip on the Central Coast, the court heard.
He was travelling with three others when he had the collision, with all escaping with minor injuries. Ms Rayner, 29, died at the scene.
There is no dispute that Mr Monks failed to negotiate the “sweeping left hand bend” on the section of the New England Highway at Whittingham.
However, the defence will argue Mr Monks may have suffered a seizure in the lead-up to the collision, brought about by a lesion on the 23-year-old’s brain, and the crash was potentially the result of “involuntary” actions.
Crown prosecutor Michael McColm said the abnormality on Mr Monk’s brain made the seizure a “possibility”.
But Mr McColm noted that there was “no evidence of [Mr Monk] having a seizure before or since” the crash.
The court heard from several witnesses, including Mr Monks’ uncle, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car at the time of the collision.
Under cross-examination, Mr Monks’uncle said he noticed no difference in the 23-year-old’s appearance, presentation or demeanour before the crash.
Judge Roy Ellis said there was “no evidence” to suggest the accused was distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. The court will hear expert testimony as to the likelihood Mr Monks suffered a seizure on Wednesday.
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