Tributes are pouring in for a couple in their 80s who were killed in a horrific car crash on Saturday evening. New South Wales Police released a statement on Sunday confirming that an 81-year-old woman and her 83-year-old husband died as a result of a Nissan Pulsar and Toyota Hilux ute colliding at the intersection of Coveny Street in the Sydney suburb of Doonside.
Friends and family have since identified the couple as Frank and Carmen Sant. Police said that Carmen was a passenger in a vehicle her husband was driving and that she died at the scene of the accident.
Frank was critically injured and was taken to Westmead Hospital for treatment, but sadly passed away on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old male driver of the Pulsar was arrested at the scene and was also taken to Westmead Hospital.
New South Wales said the man was checked over and underwent mandatory testing at hospital, before he was taken to Blacktown Police Station and charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and not giving way to a vehicle.
The man is an Indian National with an international driver’s licence and was refused bail. He is set to appear at Blacktown Local Court on Monday, with New South Wales Police explaining: “Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the crash are being led by the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit.”
Video capturing the horrific accident aired on 7 News Sydney on Sunday evening and showed the impact of the collision sending Frank and Carmen’s car rolling at high speed into a fence. A witness saw Carmen after the crash and told 7 News Sydney: “She lie on the power steering and I knew she’s gone.”
7 News Sydney also reported that Frank had to be cut free from the car and was surrounded by his friends and family when his life support was switched off in hospital the next day. The couple were married for more than five decades and were reportedly just five minutes away from home. A friend of the couple, Doreen McCleery, told 7 News she was shocked by the accident.
“I’m just very sad to hear the bad news,” she said. “They’ve been wonderful people.”
Another friend, Lawrence Buhagiar, took to Facebook to say that the couple were a huge part of the Maltese community in Australia and that they were remembered at the 40th Anniversary of the St Nicholas Festa Committee in Plumpton on Sunday. She said: “During this event all of those present reflected during a one minute silence in memory of Frank and Carmen (Carrie) Sant who passed away after a tragic traffic accident that occurred last night. Very saddened with this news as they involved themselves with the Maltese Community in NSW. Let us say a short prayer for them and their family.”
Another person on Facebook said: “You are in our prayers. Take care dear friends,” while a further message read: “RIP. Unnecessary deaths. So so sad.”
Meanwhile, Inspector Phil Templeman from New South Wales Ambulance said accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, telling 7 News Sydney: “It only takes a small lapse in concentration for a catastrophic event.”
It’s not the first time an accident has occurred along the busy intersection, with other witnesses telling 7 News Sydney the area is a known blackspot and that a petition was even sent to the local member in March to build a roundabout.