News

Fatality driver goes on the run

By Riverine Herald

A WOMAN who had been charged with dangerous driving causing death following a Moama car crash in 2016 is on the run.

Fairfax Media has reported that arrest warrants had been issued after Bendigo woman Tyrian Andrews, who pleaded guilty to the charge for the crash which killed her friend, failed to appear in court for sentencing on Friday.

The crash happened on Perricoota Rd around 3am on February 13 when the vehicle in which Andrews and 22-year-old friend Stephanie Pitson were travelling left the road and crashed through scrub before hitting a tree.

The tragedy was compounded after police blocked the road immediately past the turn-off for Five Mile boat ramp and were still working at the scene as the first boats started arriving for the opening events of the Southern 80.

Officers from Deniliquin Local Area Command were on the scene and Moama police Acting Inspector Trent Swinton told the Riverine Herald at the time the deceased woman and the driver were in the area for the ski racing.

Andrews was present in court on Thursday for a sentence hearing, but failed to appear the following day after the sitting judge adjourned the decision.

Earlier in the week the prosecution had told the Griffith, NSW, court Andrews, then on her learner permit, was driving with alcohol and an illicit drug in her system when the crash occurred.

Taking to the stand, the defendant conceded there was nothing she could do to make up the loss the Pitson family had suffered.

“I thought saying sorry was almost like an insult,” she said.

Andrews described her relationship with Ms Pitson as “very close”, telling the judge the pair had met through mutual friends.

It’s believed the crash occurred when the Renault hatchback Andrews was driving left the road, striking a tree and sliding a distance before coming to rest on the driver’s side.

Ms Pitson reportedly died at the scene and Andrews was airlifted to Melbourne with serious injuries to her head and abdomen.

Based on tests the next morning, a forensic pharmacologist estimated the defendant’s blood alcohol reading would have been around 0.076 at the time of the collision.

It was submitted to the court that at that level there would be “an impairment of all major driving skills required for this driving task” and impairment would likely be “significant for a 19 year-old learner driver”.

- with the Bendigo Advertiser