Mum defends son: ‘He is no coward’
The mother of John Pagakis, accused of fleeing after a fatal crash killed a 12-year-old boy, says her son is "no coward", but says "people die on the road every day'.
Demetra Pagakis told news.com.au that her son, 34, a government road worker, was on his way to see his girlfriend when his car became airborne and crashed into six stationary cars.
Mr Pagakis, who will spend at least the next eight weeks in custody after his bail was refused today, is facing 10 charges including dangerous driving causing death and failing to stay and assist after an accident.
He allegedly caused the fatal crash after exiting the M2 freeway in Baulkham Hills in north west Sydney on Saturday night.
A boy, 12, travelling in his family's Holden Captiva with his mother, father and five-year-old sister was killed in the incident.
After Mr Pagakis's Holden allegedly hit two median strips and struck the Captiva, the boy died at the scene and his 36-year-old mother and younger sister were critically injured.
They are now in a serious but stable condition in hospital, and two others, a man, 65, and a 58-year-old women were treated for minor injuries.
Mrs Pagakis said she had received a phone call on Monday morning from an unidentified man calling her son "a coward, a scumbag".
"Some idiot in an ugly man's voice calls me this morning and (says) 'He's a coward, he's a scumbag'.
"John was on the way to see his girlfriend.
"It was an accident and fatal for one child.
"The little child did not deserve to be injured or killed, but this happens every day.
"For a child to have died, of course it's awful.
"But cars plough into preschools.
She said her son was "a good driver" who had been driving "since he was 17".
Mr Pagakis was allegedly travelling on the westbound M2 off ramp when his Commodore hit a median strip, crossed northbound lanes, hit a second media strip and then the stationary Holden Captiva and a Land Rover, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Police allege he then climbed out of his damaged car and fled the scene, arriving seven hours later scratched and bloodied at his mother's northern beaches house, 35km from the crash scene.
"Now he's lost his freedom and I don't know when he will be free again," Mrs Pagakis said.
"The lawyer should do the right thing and get him out of prison quickly".
His lawyer, Peter Proctor, did not apply for Pagakis's release at Parramatta Local Court on Monday morning and bail was formally refused.
"He's deeply remorseful and it's a tragic case and ultimately justice will be done," Mr Proctor told reporters outside court.
Mr Proctor said the reality of the situation was now sinking in "with great difficulty" for Mr Pagakis.
He will next appear on May 2.
Fire and rescue NSW described the crash as "an extremely severe collision".