Backpacker accused of causing fatal crash denied bail

THE Hong Kong backpacker accused of causing a crash that killed two men has been denied bail due to the strength of the prosecution case.
THE Hong Kong backpacker accused of causing a crash that killed two men has been denied bail due to the strength of the prosecution case.

THE Hong Kong backpacker accused of causing a crash that killed two men has been denied bail due to the strength of the prosecution case.

Pui Shan Rachel Wong, 30, made an application for bail in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday, the day after she was arrested in relation to the fatal crash at Pine Creek on Thursday last week.

She is facing one charge of dangerous driving causing death.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Vicki Kennedy-Grills said Wong allegedly crossed double lines to overtake a car while driving from Bundaberg to Childers, between 5.45am and 6am.

Snr Const Grills said soon after, Wong allegedly crossed double lines again to overtake a truck, with no vision of the oncoming traffic, and smashed head-on into a Ford Festiva carrying 51-year-old Mark Smith and 42-year-old Steven Maher.

"The speed of the vehicle has not been determined," she said.

Snr Const Grills said the prosecution opposed Wong's bail as she was an unacceptable risk of failing to appear and would "endanger the safety and welfare of the community".

"The defendant is an international tourist with no known ties to the country," she said.

Wong's lawyer, Amy Soong, who travelled from Brisbane for the hearing, said her client was on a working holiday visa that was valid until June next year.

Ms Soong said her client was prepared to enter into strict bail conditions and would surrender her passport, report frequently to police and live with a friend at a Thabeban address.

But that friend was the passenger in the car with Wong at the time of the crash and could potentially be called upon as a witness.

"My concern is it is a very strong case," Magistrate Deb Vasta said.

"I understand you are willing to give us your passport and also to report twice a week."

Despite Miss Wong having had no previous criminal history, Mrs Vasta denied the woman bail.

"My concern is it is a very strong case and the risk of flight is too great for me to allow you to be out on bail," she said.

"It is a very serious offence to drive in a manner in which two people died.

"I do refuse bail due to the strength of the case and that you will ultimately serve a term of imprisonment."

Ms Soong had concerns her client could possibly wait a year on remand before the matter was heard in the Bundaberg District Court.

But Mrs Vasta said as the case was so strong that it most likely could be heard in the next court sittings, scheduled for November.

Wong has been remanded in custody, to reappear on October 16.

Topics:  backpacker court crash

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