Hamilton man denies being driver of fatal crash car

Todd Templeton, 20, of Sobeys Road, Hamilton, told police he had not been driving when questioned at the accident scene.

Todd Templeton, 20, of Sobeys Road, Hamilton, told police he had not been driving when questioned at the accident scene.

A Hamilton man charged with dangerous driving that led to the death of a 19-year-old man told a police officer at the accident scene he was not the driver of the car, Warrnambool Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

Constable Jo van Wegen, of Hamilton police, told the committal hearing of Todd Templeton, 20, of Sobeys Road, Hamilton, that he had told her he had not been driving when she questioned him at the accident scene.

Constable van Wegen said Mr Templeton’s legs appeared to be broken and his left eye could have been fractured when she asked him if was the driver.

In response to questions from Dermot Dann, appearing for Mr Templeton, Constable van Wegen said Mr Templeton appeared to be on the verge of losing consciousness when she asked him the question but she had done so because a deceased man had been found near the car wreck.

Mr Templeton has pleaded not guilty to culpable driving and dangerous driving causing death on Mount Baimbridge Road in the early hours of December 7, 2012.

His friend Alexander Trotter was killed in the accident when both men were thrown from the vehicle.

Sergeant David Walkey of Hamilton police, who also attended at the crash, told the commital hearing he believed Mr Templeton was the driver because of evidence from another officer.

Sergeant Walkley said he thought the car had been travelling at 200km/h when it crashed.

He said it appeared Mr Templeton had been thrown from the car, cut a swathe through bushes and hit a nearby house.

The resident, Hector Darrington, said he was awoken by the crash about 2.35am that night and found an overturned car outside his house. Soon after he found the deceased man and then followed the sound of groaning to find Mr Templeton lying on the ground with his head on a rock.

Mr Templeton had been lucid and asked for help to get up so he could get away, Mr Darrington said.

A friend of Alex Trotter’s, Teryl Cox, told the court he received text messages from Mr Trotter the day before the crash that Mr Trotter and Mr Templeton had been for a trip to Nigretta Falls near Hamilton.

He said Mr Trotter’s text message said he was driving and that both he and Mr Templeton had been drinking. Mr Cox said he had texted Mr Trotter to say he should not be driving if he was drunk.

He said he had heard the next day that Mr Trotter had been killed that morning in a car crash.

The committal hearing before Magistrate Ann McGarvie continues today.

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