Singh (centre) has been convicted of culpable driving. (ABC TV)
[AAP by Daniel Fogarty]
A Victorian motorist has been found guilty on three counts of culpable driving after he hit an oncoming car, killing three members of the one Wodonga family.
The Victorian County Court has heard Gurwinder Singh, 25, lost control of his Ford Falcon after overtaking a semi-trailer before crashing into a VW Golf driven by Basil Rehe, 55.
Mr Rehe, his wife Robyn Rehe, 45, and his sister Suzanne Rehe were killed in the fiery crash near Merton northeast of Melbourne in May 2009, which left a 12-year-old girl orphaned.
Three others were seriously injured.
Singh was speeding, overtaking several vehicles and driving in a grossly negligent fashion before the crash.
On Monday the County Court jury found Singh, of Murrumbeena, guilty on three charges of culpable driving causing death and three of negligently causing serious injury.
Singh was remanded in custody for sentencing at a date to be fixed.
Outside court, Basil and Suzanne Rehe’s sister Angie Rehe said justice had been done, but Singh had not apologised.
“Some remorse would have been nice and I think more than anything what would have been great is an apology,” Ms Rehe said.
“But there has certainly been nothing like that, which is a little disappointing when someone is so clearly in the wrong … behaving so recklessly that ended three people’s lives.”
Singh lost control of his silver-coloured Ford Falcon after overtaking a semi-trailer and crashed into the VW Golf driven by Mr Rehe.
Ms Rehe said the family did not seek vengeance in the form of a long sentence, because it would not change what had happened.
“If there had been an acquittal it would have been devastating. But justice has been done because this is clearly the correct result and it is good to have it acknowledged,” she said.
During the trial, Joyce Rehe testified her family was driving home from a family lunch when a set of car headlights suddenly pulled out from behind a truck and came towards them.
She said the car did not pull out a little to check if it was safe to overtake.
Ms Rehe said her son commented: “What’s this idiot think he’s doing?” before calling out: “Hang on”.
She heard the “incredible” sound of the crash and airbags going off.
She spent four days in hospital with injuries including a broken nose and fractures.
Opening the trial, prosecutor Sarah Thomas said a crash expert found Singh was travelling at a minimum speed of 118km/h when he overcorrected after overtaking the truck.
Singh had pleaded not guilty, but his barrister Paul Higham said in his opening address his client accepted that if he had not overtaken the semi-trailer at that point, three people would not have died.
Mr Higham questioned whether the collision was a tragic accident or a crime.
Singh, in Australia on a student visa, is due to be sentenced at a date to be fixed.