A MAN drove on the wrong side of a Calder Freeway overpass for more than a kilometre before he crashed into another car, killing a 64-year-old woman.
John Murray Van Remmen, 31, appeared in the County Court this week where he pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing death.
Court documents released to the Bendigo Advertiser said on the afternoon of September 5 last year, Van Remmen was driving his Honda Accord along the Calder Freeway towards Melbourne.
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Van Remmen left the freeway at the Malmsbury exit and drove onto the incorrect side of the road as he travelled on the overpass.
The 31-year-old was driving around a right-hand bend on Mollison Street when he collided head-on with the car of 64-year-old victim, Colleen Plowman.
The airbags in Mrs Plowman's car deployed, causing the vehicle to be pushed backwards before it came to rest partially off the road.
The court documents said Van Remmen helped Mrs Plowman out of the vehicle, but she collapsed to the ground. Witnesses performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
Mrs Plowman was flown to the Alfred Hospital with multiple chest injuries. She died that evening shortly after arriving in hospital.
Van Remmen was not injured in the crash. He told multiple witnesses that at the time of the collision, he had been looking for a rest stop because he was dozing off.
Van Remmen was arrested and taken to the Kyneton Hospital for a blood sample. The sample later revealed he had no drugs or alcohol in his system.
Van Remmen gave no-comment responses during his record of police interview.
CCTV footage from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre and a residential property showed Van Remmen drove on the wrong side of the road for about 1.3km before he collided with Mrs Plowman's car.
A collision reconstruction expert said it appeared Van Remmen was travelling at 49.6km/h, while Mrs Plowman was travelling at 59.5km/h at the time of the crash.
There were no signs of either vehicle braking prior to the collision.
A sleep expert determined Van Remmen had the ability to have proper control of his vehicle, although fatigue or sleepiness could have contributed to his confusion or disorientation.
Defence counsel David Hallowes SC provided written submissions to the court, which said Van Remmen was an American citizen who obtained a temporary skill shortage visa in May 2019.
Mr Hallowes said Van Remmen's visa would be cancelled if he was sentenced to a jail term of 12 months or more.
The defence counsel said the risk of deportation could be seen as an additional punishment.
Van Remmen is due to be sentenced in the County Court next week.
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