A woman accused of causing a fatal crash because she was allegedly texting her boyfriend is likely to face a retrial following a decision by a judge to discharge the jury considering her case.
Aine Marie McGrath, 25, had been on trial in the District Court since Monday over the death of her work colleague and friend, Sarah Kelly, in a horror freeway crash in August, 2016.
The jury had been deliberating for more than five hours over three days when it was discharged by Judge Christopher Stevenson, who said his decision was “in the interests of justice”.
It had been alleged Ms McGrath was driving too fast and was distracted by her telephone when she lost control of her car and veered across four lanes of the Mitchell Freeway.
An oncoming ute slammed into the passenger side of the car where Ms Kelly, 25, was sitting.
She died at the scene.
The court was told an analysis of Ms McGrath’s telephone found she had received and sent a total of seven text messages in the lead-up to the fatal crash.
In her evidence, she admitted she had been texting, but maintained that in the seconds before the crash her telephone was in the centre console, and she had not read the last message she received.
Ms McGrath maintained the crash was caused when another car pulled out in front of her and she lost control as she swerved to try to avoid hitting it.
When Judge Christopher Stevenson told Ms McGrath it was likely she would have to face a retrial, she and members of her family burst into tears.
She was released on bail until she appears in court again next month, when a new trial date may be set.