Arrests warrants have been issued after a woman who has pleaded guilty to killing her friend in a car crash failed to appear in court for sentencing.
Tyrian Andrews was facing court over a charge of dangerous driving causing death after a Moama crash claimed the life of Stephanie Pitson, also from Bendigo, in early 2016.
The prosecution said Ms Andrews, then on her learner permit, was driving with alcohol and an illicit drug in her system when the crash occurred just before 3am on February 13.
Ms Andrews was present in Griffith District Court on Thursday for a sentence hearing, but failed to appear the following day after the sitting judge adjourned the decision.
She had pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing death. A warrant was issued to bring her before the court on Friday afternoon.
Family and friends of Ms Pitson had gathered in the Griffith courtroom over two days in hopes of hearing the final verdict.
Ms Pitson’s sister Jenna Wheelhouse recalled the close relationship they shared in a victim impact statement read aloud to the court.
“I remember every single year of her life,” she said.
“Her smile, laugh and energy was just so magnetic … my life will never be the same.”
Taking to the stand, the defendant conceded there was nothing she could do to make up the loss the Pitson family had suffered.
“I thought saying sorry was almost like an insult,” she said.
It’s believed the crash occurred when the Renault hatchback the defendant was driving left the road, striking a tree and sliding a distance before coming to rest on the driver’s side.
Ms Pitson reportedly died at the scene and Ms Andrews was airlifted to Melbourne with serious injuries to her head and abdomen.
Based on tests run the next morning, a forensic pharmacologist estimated the defendant’s blood alcohol reading would have been around 0.076 at the time of the collision.
It was submitted to the court that with at level there would be “an impairment of all major driving skills required for this driving task” and impairment would likely be “significant for a 19 year-old learner driver”.