It would have taken Jaskaran Singh just two seconds to stop the car and avoid killing Libby Ruge, Prosecutor Nerissa Keay told a Wollongong District Court jury in the closing remarks for the Crown.
"Singh could stop the car within two seconds and 11.5 metres," she said.
Instead, the car continued for another 19 metres along Flinders Street, before veering sharply to the left and hitting Ms Ruge, two of her friends and colliding with a telegraph pole.
Ms Keay said Singh was in control of the vehicle up until the final moments and left the scene without helping Ms Ruge's friends, who had been thrown metres into the Collegians parking lot.
Despite causing fatal injuries to Ms Ruge and leaving two of her companions in a critical state, Mr Singh got out of the car and walked away because he was scared, Ms Keay said.
"He saw the pedestrians, he saw what he had done," said Ms Keay. "He heard her scream."
Jaskaran Singh, 20, is facing three charges of dangerous driving, one occasioning death, and failing to assist at the scene of a crash.
On November 7, 2020 Singh was driving two men, Arpan Sharma, 19, and Nilesh Mishra, 37, from a party at his apartment in Wollongong to Mr Nilesh's residence in Keiraville.
Summing up the evidence, Ms Keay said that Singh had the opportunity to prevent the tragic end to the journey.
"Singh had the ability to use the footbrake and could have stopped the vehicle at any time," she said.
Sharma pulled the car's handbrake as the vehicle was travelling down Flinders Street. The car swung clockwise, with the nose pointing right, before it abruptly swung anticlockwise and veered off the road, hitting Ms Ruge, Tye West, 23, and Eva Harrison, 20.
Prior to the collision, Ms Keay said that Singh and Sharma engaged in a pattern of dangerous driving almost immediately after they left Singh's residence on George Street.
"If Singh wanted no part, he had the power to stop the car and disengage" Ms Keay said. "The fact that he continued to drive, the fact that he didn't stop the car, when he had power to do that, shows that he was a willing participant in the type of driving they were doing together."
On the night in question, Wollongong's CBD was heaving with young people celebrating the end of restrictions.
While driving, Singh and Sharma were bantering, playing loud music, laughing and being silly, the prosecution said.
"They were driving competitively, breaking road rules, taking risks, gaining a thrill, showing off and skylarking as they drove through streets of Wollongong on a Saturday night," Ms Keay said.
Making the closing submissions for the defence, Barrister Ben Hart said that on the night in question, Singh only committed minor traffic offences and that it was Sharma's actions that caused the collision.
"Singh is a young man caught up in a situation not of his making," he said.
"Singh went to a party with Sharma, didn't drink, didn't take drugs. When asked to drive someone home, because he was the sober one, he did. He was an inexperienced driver, had his licence for eight to nine months and committed minor traffic infringements in the lead up to the accident."
The actions that Singh took, including passing a red light, overtaking into the oncoming lane were "Not hooning behaviour, not dangerous driving," Mr Hart said.
Pulling the handbrake each time was the action of Sharma, not Singh, Mr Hart said.
"It was Sharma who pulled up the handbrake, he took over control of driving the vehicle," he said.
After the impact, CCTV footage shows a man emerges from the driver's seat. Ms Keay recalled how in Mr West's evidence he described a man on the driver's side of the vehicle standing with his hands on his head, saying "oh shit, oh f---".
"The fact that he saw a person on the driver's side acting in that way, is a description of Mr Singh."
Then, onlookers described a man leaving the scene and walking back up Flinders Street, away from the crash. Ms Keay said despite the physical descriptions varying, jurors could take the accounts to indicate Singh was fleeing the scene.
Mr Hart said as the witnesses' descriptions of Singh did not match Singh's appearance, Singh did not run away from the scene but went to an adjacent parking lot that was within the scene of the collision.
"The critical question is can the Crown prove beyond reasonable doubt that Singh knew he was involved in a collision causing death or grievous bodily harm," Mr Hart told the jury. "Singh suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and concussion, reported loss of consciousness, whether that was enough, to effect Singh's knowledge, that is entirely a matter for you."
Ms Keay then described multiple calls from Singh and Sharma's phones, before Sharma makes contact with Singh and Singh returns to the scene 14 minutes later.
Two days later, after being released from hospital, police interviewed Singh, with Singh replying in a way that was "vague" and "unconvincing", according to the Crown, particularly when Singh denied that he knew Sharma had pulled the handbrake twice before.
"The Crown says you would have a sense of what the passenger was doing, because a passenger pulling the handbrake does so very close to the driver," Ms Keay said. "If not directly looking at the handbrake [Singh] would have a sense of what was going on."
Mr Hart said the dangerous driving only began when the car started to skid travelling on Flinders Street.
"Singh no longer maintained management and control of the vehicle. He was no longer driving the vehicle at the time the dangerous driving began."
When Singh turned the vehicle to the left, Mr Hart referred back to police physicist Gavin Lennon's evidence that the action was a natural, reasonable response.
Mr Hart said it would be dishonest to hold Singh accountable for the actions of Sharma as there was no evidence the two were acting in concert.
"To continue to drive a drunk passenger does not equate to an agreement to drive dangerously down Flinders Street, or an agreement for that drunk passenger to pull up the handbrake."
In the police interview, Singh also denies knowing that he hit three pedestrians, the Crown argued that could not have been true.
Summing up the four days of evidence, Ms Keay said Singh was in control of the car and that it was not the case that Sharma took over control of the vehicle by pulling the handbrake, and even at the critical moment when the vehicle starts to spin out of control, Singh could have avoided the final outcome.
"Singh could have stopped the vehicle."
Mr Hart said that Singh may not have known that he hit pedestrians and that the screams he heard were of uninjured bystanders who were scared of the car.
"After considering all the evidence it is my submission you would have reasonable doubt whether Singh committed these offences," Mr Hart said.
"If you have a doubt then you must find Mr Singh not guilty."
Following Mr Hart's remarks, Judge Julia Baly gave directions to the jury and will continue giving directions when the trial resumes on Friday morning.
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