Warrigal Care driver to stand trial over fatal Yallah minibus crash

A Warrigal Care minibus driver charged over a fatal crash on the M1 Princes Motorway at Yallah last Wednesday has been identified in court as 63-year-old Michael Ryan.

A driver will stand trial next year over a minibus crash at Yallah that claimed the life of an elderly woman.

Michael Ryan was formally arraigned in Wollongong District Court on Tuesday, at which time he entered pleas of not guilty to charges of dangerous driving occasioning death and negligent driving occasioning death.

Ryan was behind the wheel of a near-full Warrigal Care minibus when it allegedly collided with the front end of a fuel tanker around midday on January 25 and flipped across the northbound lanes.

Margaret Russell was killed in the crash. 

Eleven people were transported to hospital after the accident including an 80-year-old woman who was later airlifted to St George Hospital in a serious condition.

Michael Ryan at the scene

Michael Ryan at the scene

The injured bus passengers were not residents of a Warrigal Care facility but were taking part in its social outreach program, called Club Connect

Both Ryan and the truck driver were taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing.

Police charged Ryan a week later.

He entered a not guilty plea in the local court while police were still serving their brief of evidence against him.

He waived his right to a committal hearing, deciding instead to proceed directly to trial.

The Mercury understand some passengers on the bus that day will be called to give evidence about what occurred in the lead up to the crash.

The trial has been set down for May and is expected to last up to seven days.