Witness tells horror of car hitting Albion Park parents

Fernando Marino and Karen McGovern.
Fernando Marino and Karen McGovern.

When Kathryn Matiszak ran a red light and crashed into a couple visiting Melbourne from NSW, the man she hit was thrown up to five metres in the air, a court has heard.

"He looked like a big dummy being thrown into the air," witness Anthony Farrelly said in a statement tendered to the Melbourne Magistrates Court during a committal hearing for Matiszak yesterday.

"At that point, I couldn't believe what was happening. I actually thought it might have been someone making an ad, it was so unreal."

Matiszak had her partner's two-year-old son in the white Holden Astra station wagon when she drove through a red light about 7.05pm on Saturday, August 13, last year.

She collided with the couple, from Albion Park, as they crossed the intersection of Lygon Street and Queensberry Street, in the popular restaurant strip at Carlton.

Sydney Swans fans Fernando Marino, 32, and his partner Karen McGovern, 31, who had been together for 10 years, were having a weekend away from their two children in Melbourne.

They planned to watch their team play Richmond at the MCG the next day as a belated birthday present for Ms McGovern.

Mr Marino died soon after the crash and Ms McGovern died in hospital three days later.

The collision orphaned the couple's children, Cooper, 6, and Jaylee, 4.

In a prosecution summary, police said Matiszak dropped off her partner at the airport and was taking his son to his mother's when the accident happened.

She was breath-tested at the scene and had not been drinking. She did not sustain any injuries and the two-year-old boy was unharmed.

Police estimated Matiszak had been driving at a minimum 71 kilometres an hour when she hit the couple. The speed limit was 50 kilometres an hour.

Mr Marino was thrown 13.54 metres and Ms McGovern 32.2 metres.

Motorist Peter Allison said he saw Matiszak's car approach the intersection and could sense she was not going to stop.

Mr Allison said he turned to his wife and said, "Look at this bloody idiot."

"I was blown away. It was like the driver was driving on a highway."

Defence lawyer Michael Croucher, SC, told the court Matiszak had not seen the red light and was guilty of inattention.

Prosecutor Andrew Tinney, SC, said it was simply inexplicable that someone would drive like that.

Mr Tinney said that when the lights had turned amber, Matiszak had had nine seconds to slow down and stop at the intersection.

Matiszak was committed to stand trial on two charges of culpable driving causing death by gross negligence, two counts of dangerous driving causing death, and charges of speeding, careless driving and running a red light.

Matiszak said she would plead not guilty to the culpable driving charges and was released on bail.