Austinmer crash victim's sister: 'I'd all but given up hope'

Dwayne Nicholson.

Dwayne Nicholson.

The sister of a man killed in a tragic car crash in Austinmer 14 years ago says she had "all but given up" hope someone would be charged over the incident.

On Wednesday, a 38-year-old man, who was extradited from Queensland, faced Campbelltown Local Court on several charges relating to the crash that claimed the life of 20-year-old Dwayne Nicholson.

The crash happened about 10.30pm on Friday, July 7, 2000, when a northbound Toyota van and the southbound Ford Meteor station wagon in which Mr Nicholson was a passenger collided on Buttenshaw Drive at Austinmer.

Mr Nicholson was ejected from the car and died at the scene.

Police issued warrants for the arrest of the Ford Meteor's alleged driver, who could not be located until, acting on information received via Crime Stoppers, Queensland Police arrested the 38-year-old man at a home on Russell Island, near Brisbane last week.

Mr Nicholson's sister Tara Hodge said she still thought about her brother daily.

"It all ... left me with a sick and bitter feeling," she said.

"It has been so hard; to know that Dwayne died, but the driver wasn't willing to accept responsibility ... has been very tough on my family and his friends.

"I am thankful to the policeman in charge of this investigation for his tireless efforts."

Ms Hodge, who was just 14 at the time of the crash, said Mr Nicholson was "a very popular guy" with more than 1000 people attending his funeral.

She said if she could speak to her brother again, she would tell him he was "amazing in every single way".

"I would thank him for being a perfect big brother," Ms Hodge said.

"He was such a strong person, I just never thought something like that would happen to him."

After the crash, Ms Hodge spent the next month sleeping on her brother's boogie board in her bed.

"Each day I woke up thinking it was a bad dream, but it wasn't," she said. "It was terrible."


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