Cyclist fatality driver to plead guilty
THE teenage removalist truck driver charged over the death of cyclist Milli O'Nair at Tyagarah in May is set to plead guilty to the most serious charge of dangerous driving causing death, Crown prosecutor Brendan Queenan has stated in Lismore Local Court.
Mina Nashed, 19, previously of western Sydney and now living at Hendra near Brisbane, appeared before the court yesterday afternoon on five charges: Dangerous driving causing death, negligent driving causing death, driving with an illicit drug (cannabis) present in his blood, low-range drink-driving (0.055), and failing to stop and assist after a fatal accident.
Ms O'Nair, 41, was killed instantly at 6.45am on May 10 after her bicycle was struck by the truck as she rode south along the Pacific Highway crossing the overhead rail bridge at Tyagarah.
The popular Gondwana Sanctuary resident was well known on the Northern Rivers, where she worked as a non- violent communication trainer and relationship mediator. She was a laughter yoga practitioner, as well as a fairy and face-painter at local markets and kids' parties.
Appearing before Magistrate Michael Dakin, Mr Queenan said Nashed was appearing unrepresented in court, but had legal counsel to represent him who was not at court.
Mr Queenan said the matter had been adjourned previously to allow Nashed's defence team to submit a No Further Proceedings application on the charges, which had since been 'received and declined' by the Crown.
He said there was now a possibility of Nashed pleading guilty to the main charge following contact from his counsel (barrister Dr Richard Waldersee), who now needed time to discuss with the Crown the appropriate (agreed) facts.
Mr Queenan said the defence counsel had supplied to the Crown 'what he considers to be appropriate facts'.
The Crown prosecutor asked for a four-week adjournment of the matter with a committal for sentence to be set at the next court date.
Standing silently listening to proceedings Nashed, when asked by Magistrate Dakin if he had any objection, replied 'no'.
Mr Dakin adjourned the matter to November 3, listing it as a possible committal for sentence on the dangerous driving charge.
Nashed is believed to have been driving a rented Mitsubishi Canter truck from Queensland back to Sydney when it struck Ms O'Nair, sending her body over the bridge railing and on to the disused railway tracks below.
At the time of the tragedy investigating police stated physical evidence showed the southbound truck had veered to the left.