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No charges laid against driver of crash that left 5 Australian-Indians dead

Darpan News Desk IANS, 10 Nov, 2023 01:12 PM
  • No charges laid against driver of crash that left 5 Australian-Indians dead

Melbourne, Nov 10 (IANS) No charges have been laid as yet against an elderly driver involved in a car crash in Australia that left five Indian-origin people, including two children, dead and five others injured, police said.

The 66-year-old driver, an 'insulin-dependent diabetic' who has remained in medical care following the collision on November 5, was interrogated by the police on Tuesday.

“At this time the driver has not been charged, with enquiries to continue after his eventual release from care,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

Martin Amad, the driver's lawyer, said his client was a family man with no criminal history, and had returned a negative blood alcohol reading after the collision.

"He is deeply distressed and feels great empathy with the families and friends of the victims and the Daylesford community,” Amad said in a statement, adding that his client is an insulin-dependent diabetic who required immediate treatment from paramedics at the scene.

Vivek Bhatia (38), his son Vihan (11), Pratibha Sharma (44), her daughter, Anvi (nine), and partner Jatin Chugh (30) died after an SUV mounted a kerb and hit patrons on the front lawn of the Royal Daylesford hotel on Sunday evening.

Five other people, including Bhatia's wife, Ruchi (36), younger son Abeer (six) and an 11-month-old child, are in hospital being treated for injuries.

While addressing a news conference a day after the incident, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the victims were all visitors to the area, and described the incident as "an absolute tragedy".

Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil was organised by the Wyndham City Council where community members, including many Indians, gathered to pay tributes to the departed souls and support their families.

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