8 February 2024

Learner driver who allegedly fled the scene of serious crash set to face trial after pleading not guilty

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Wagga Wagga Local Court

Jack Astill will remain in custody until his trial date in October. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

A 20-year-old Cowra man is set to face trial after he allegedly fled the scene of a serious crash in Temora last year, which left two people injured.

Jack Astill fronted Wagga Wagga District Court on Friday (2 February) charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, failing to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing grievous bodily harm, causing bodily harm by misconduct in charge of motor vehicle, predatory driving and learner not accompanied by driver, police officer or tester.

Astill pleaded not guilty to all charges in front of Judge Tanya Bright, who set his trial date at Wagga District Court for 14 October.

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Emergency services were called to an area near the Goldfields Way and Thanowring Road intersection in Temora following reports of a crash at about 1 am on 11 January 2023.

Police were told a sedan and a utility were travelling north along Goldfields Way when the utility left the roadway and rolled several times.

The 24-year-old female passenger in the backseat of the utility was ejected from the vehicle, while the 40-year-old male passenger in the front seat suffered leg and head injuries.

Police said both were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being airlifted to Canberra Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The male drivers of both vehicles allegedly fled the scene, with the sedan located soon after on Gardner Street in Temora.

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Officers from the Riverina Police District established a crime scene, which was examined by specialist police from the Crash Investigation Unit.

Police attended a home on Thom Street in Temora following further inquiries and arrested Astill at about noon the following day (12 January 2023).

Judge Bright also set a readiness hearing for 16 August to determine and finalise any matters before the trial.

Astill will remain in custody and has been ordered by the court to appear in person for his trial in October.

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