Australia

Driver failed to stop at give way sign before crash that killed mother-in-law

A man’s mother-in-law died and his wife and five-year-old daughter were injured when he failed to stop at a Give Way sign, police allege. Christian Allen Leonardo faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday charged with drive in a dangerous manner causing death, drive carelessly and fail to give way over the collision at 4.14pm…

A man’s mother-in-law died and his wife and five-year-old daughter were injured when he failed to stop at a Give Way sign, police allege.

Christian Allen Leonardo faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday charged with drive in a dangerous manner causing death, drive carelessly and fail to give way over the collision at 4.14pm on June 16, 2019.

Police allege the 41-year-old did not stop at the intersection of rural Boundary and David roads at Mt Cottrell, leading to the collision between his Toyota Corolla sedan and a man driving a Hyundai 4WD with attached trailer.

Mr Leonardo “failed to obey a give way sign and proceeded into the intersection where the Hyundai collided into the passengers side”, police allege.

His 71-year-old mother-in-law was sitting in the rear passenger’s side seat and was fatally injured, dying in hospital hours after the collision.

The car sustained “severe damage” to the passenger’s side and struck a pole with the driver’s side, the court was told, with the front of the Hyundai 4WD also severely damaged in the crash.

He, his wife, and five-year-old daughter suffered non-serious injuries, the court was told.

The speed limit was 80 km/h and the weather was dry and clear, crash investigator Jenelle Hardiman said.

The other driver had 0.12 grams of ice in his system and did not have a court-ordered interlock device — which requires a clean breath-test for a car to start — fitted, police allege.

Paul Calway was charged with drug-driving and breach of an interlock device order.

He told police he saw the Toyota come across his path “all of a sudden” and that it was too late to avoid it, even though he tried to brake and swerve.

A witness driving behind Mr Leonardo told police the Give Way sign was “hard to see” and “sometimes gets lost in the trees”.

The local resident said there had “been many accidents at this intersection”.

“I could see the other vehicle coming down Boundary Road and I knew something was about to happen,” he said.

Mr Leonardo had no drugs or alcohol in his system, the court was told.

He will next appear in the County Court of Victoria in February to face trial.

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