A police investigation is continuing and no charges have been laid after a Melbourne woman drove into a lake with her 4 children, killing 3 and leaving another in hospital.
Akon Guode, a 35-year old mother crashed her car in Wyndham Vale in Melbourne’s west.
Her partner and father of her child, Joseph Manyang, was reported to say that Ms Guode was feeling dizzy moments before the crash and did not remember driving into the lake.
There is no suggestion in this article that Ms Guode is criminally responsible for the deaths of her children, however a number of possibilities are hereafter canvassed for the sake of discussion.
If it can be proven that Ms Guode intended to kill her children by driving into the lake, or decided to drive into the lake, reckless as to the likelihood that this would kill them, then she could be found guilty of murder under s 18 of the Crimes Act, the maximum penalty for which is life imprisonment.
If there is evidence that Ms Guode was under the influence of alcohol or another drug, was driving at a dangerous speed, or was otherwise driving dangerously, she could be found guilty of dangerous driving causing death under s 52A(1) of the Crimes Act, the maximum penalty for which is 10 years’ imprisonment.
A charge of aggravated dangerous driving causing death includes where one of the factors making the person’s driving aggravated is dangerous, for example where they are driving with the prescribed quantity of alcohol, where they are speeding over 45km/h, or where their faculties were very significantly impaired by their consumption of a drug or alcohol. The maximum penalty for this offence under s 52A(2)is 14 years’ imprisonment.
A defence is made out where the person can prove that the dangerous factor above was did not contribute to the crash: s 52A(8).
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-10/mother-felt-dizzy-before-car-drove-into-wyndham-vale-lake/6383578
Image credit: ABC News
Follow Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/scdlawyer) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/111495311017864266190/posts?hl=en).