Michelle and Steve Underhill walk into Lismore court.
Michelle and Steve Underhill walk into Lismore court. Staff Photographer

Babysitter could face fatal crash trial before Christmas

UPDATE, 11.10am: CASINO babysitter Courteney Matthews could be committed to stand trial before Christmas over the fatal crash last December which tragically killed a four-year-old girl.

Matthews was excused from appearing in Lismore Local Court today as both her lawyers and the prosecution sought more time from Magistrate David Heilpern to prepare their cases.

Her legal team are consulting their own expert witnesses over crucial factors in the fatal crash, the results of which could have major implications in the case.

Courteney Matthews in court
Courteney Matthews in court

Matthews' solicitor Monique Hannigan told Magistrate Heilpern she had filed two subpoenas with Roads and Maritime Services and Richmond Valley Council but had not yet received them.

The Department of Public Prosecutions also requested an adjournment to finalise their brief of evidence.

Magistrate Heilpern questioned both parties why he should delay the matter.

He said he was "not keen" on any further delays and ordered on the next sitting date on December 20 that Ms Matthews be committed for trial or sentenced.

Ms Matthews has yet to enter a plea to the charges of dangerous driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and negligent driving causing death over the Bruxner Highway crash just before Christmas last year.

The crash claimed the life of four-year-old Elle Underhill.

Elle's parents, Richmond police Sergeant Steve Underhill and Michelle Underhill sat in the back of the public gallery this morning, observing the proceedings.


ORIGINAL STORY: A BABYSITTER who has been charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a four-year-old girl will have her case mentioned in Lismore Local Court today.

Courteney Pearl Matthews, 19, of Casino, was charged after a crash on the Bruxner Hwy east of Casino in December last year.

Elle Underhill, the daughter of a local police sergeant, was killed.

Her two-year-old sister and another girl, aged 7, were also hurt in the crash, and the 81-year-old driver of the other car was taken to Lismore Base Hospital with chest injuries.

At her last court appearance in September, Matthews was supported by family members as the matter was adjourned.

The parents of Elle Underhill were also in the court room.

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