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April 18, 2021

Babysitter to face committal hearing over fatal crash

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A supplied photo of Elle Underhill, who was killed in an accident near Casino last Friday.
A supplied photo of Elle Underhill, who was killed in an accident near Casino.

A babysitter who was driving when she was involved in a crash which killed a police Sergeant’s four year-old daughter near Casino in 2015 will face a committal hearing in April.

Courteney Pearl Matthews, 18, was driving a red Mazda 323 containing Elle Underhill, 4, her sister Elaina, 2, and another seven year-old girl, when her car was torn in half after colliding with a Subaru Liberty on December 18.

Elle’s father Steven was one of the first people on the scene at 1.20pm, on the Summerland Way, about 10km east of Casino.

Despite the valiant efforts of emergency services, Elle was killed in the crash.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter airlifted Elaina to Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital suffering serious injuries and the seven year-old girl was treated for shock.

The 81 year-old man driving the Subaru was taken to Lismore Base Hospital with an injured sternum.

Ms Matthews, a promising ballerina, was subsequently charged with dangerous driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning death and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

At Lismore Local court on Tuesday, Ms Matthews, who is free on bail and was excused from appearing in court was represented by her solicitor Monique Hannigan.

When prosecutor Ms Magni tendered the brief of evidence against Ms Matthews, she advised Magistrate Michael Dakin three witnesses would be required during the committal hearing.

Ms Hannigan told the court she had briefed counsel from Sydney who would be representing Ms Matthews in the matters.

Mr Dakin adjourned Ms Matthews matters for a committal hearing, estimated to take three to four hours, at Casino Local Court on April 28.


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