A TEENAGER accused of causing a double-fatal car accident at East Maitland claims he was not behind the wheel when the car left Raymond Terrace Road and killed two teenage girls, Newcastle Local Court heard.
The teenager’s licence was reinstated yesterday after it was suspended when he was charged with two counts of manslaughter and other offences in July.
One of the survivors nominated the accused as the person behind the wheel at the time of the crash, but that survivor may want to deflect responsibility for his own actions on the night, magistrate John Chicken said.
Two girls, aged 17 and 14, died when the Ford Falcon left the road before midnight on January 12.
The 18-year-old, who cannot be identified because he was 17 at the time of the crash, was charged on July 1 and his learner’s licence was suspended.
Mr Chicken said he didn’t know enough about the case to say who the driver was, but he did say that only one of the four survivors had nominated the 18-year-old as the driver.
The accused’s solicitor, Mandy Hull, argued that her client did not commit any offences in the six months between the crash and the day he was charged and he did not pose a danger to the community.
She said the suspension had made it difficult for her client to find work.
There were six people in the car when it crashed.
The two girls died and four teenage males survived.
Another teenager has pleaded guilty to allowing a learner driver to take his vehicle before it was involved in the crash.
Mr Chicken said that the earliest date the 18-year-old might face a trial for manslaughter was May next year.
The Roads and Traffic Authority might review the accused’s licence in spite of yesterday’s decision, the court heard.