In court for fatal crash

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - NATION -

A WOMAN, 64, has made her first court ap­pear­ance, charged with cul­pa­ble driv­ing, caus­ing the deaths of four women in re­gional Vic­to­ria who were re­turn­ing home af­ter a night of line danc­ing.

Stawell res­i­dent Lor­raine Ni­chol­son, who is on bail, is charged with dan­ger­ous driv­ing and cul­pa­ble driv­ing caus­ing death at Navarre on May 5.

She is also ac­cused of fail­ing to stop at a stop sign at the in­ter­sec­tion of Stawell-Avoca Rd and Ararat-St Ar­naud Rd and driv­ing at 89km/h in an 80km/h zone.

Line danc­ing friends Elaine Mid­dle­ton, Mar­garet Ely, Dianne Barr and Clau­dia Jack­son, aged from 64 to 75, were re­turn­ing home when a Jeep al­legedly T-boned their Kia sedan on the iso­lated stretch of road.

All four women died of in­ter­nal in­juries.

Ni­chol­son suf­fered non­life-threat­en­ing in­juries in the al­leged crash. Ni­chol­son’s lawyer An­drew Mad­den told Bal­larat Mag­is­trates Court yes­ter­day the mat­ter may pro­ceed to a jury trial.

Ni­chol­son was sup­ported in court by her hus­band and a younger male rel­a­tive.

The court was told dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary fil­ing hear­ing that Ni­chol­son must sur­ren­der her pass­port to the court as part of her bail con­di­tions.

She was bailed to reap­pear in court on Septem­ber 20 for a com­mit­tal men­tion.

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