THE Director of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis, SC, is set to be charged with causing death by negligent driving in relation to a Midland Highway crash in March.
Mr Ellis’s Mercedes collided with a car driven by 27-year-old Natalia Pearn, of West Launceston, near Lovely Banks about 6pm on Sunday, March 24.
Ms Pearn, who was driving a Toyota Hatchback, was killed instantly and Mr Ellis suffered serious leg injuries.
Tasmania Police Crash Investigation Services said yesterday they would charge Mr Ellis by summons to appear at a later date.
The three-vehicle crash, also involving a black Commodore, occurred when Ms Pearn was returning to Launceston from Hobart and Mr Ellis was travelling in the opposite direction.
After the crash police said Mr Ellis’s south-bound Mercedes was on the wrong side of the highway at the point of impact.
Mr Ellis, 58, of Mortimer Avenue, Mount Stuart, has been on leave from his position since the fatal crash and had informed the Attorney General Brian Wightman that he would not return until the investigation was complete.
After the crash Mr Wightman sought to assure Tasmanians that the legal system was perfectly capable of dealing with the ramifications of the crash.
Mr Wightman appointed a New South Wales Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions John Pickering, SC, to oversee the police investigation into the crash.
“I have recommended that the Governor make this appointment on the advice of the acting Director of Public Prosecutions of Tasmania, Leigh Sealy, SC,” Mr Wightman said at the time.
He said the appointment would ensure Mr Pickering could “act independently”, officially and with a Tasmanian Crown law officer’s authority in advising police in the inquiry.
Mr Wightman also appointed a Victorian coroner Judge Ian Gray to conduct a coronial inquest into Ms Pearn’s death.
A spokeswoman for the Pearn family, Sue Szoka, said the family was pleased that a decision had been made. “`Now we need to let the law run its course,” Ms Szoka said.
Police made two public appeals for witnesses during the course of the five and half month investigation.
Police said there would be no further comment on the matter as it was before the court.
I hope that justice is dealt with for the sake of the family who lost their daughter. Only time will tell.
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