A parolee who was suspended from driving has been charged with allegedly causing a horror head-on crash that killed a 12-year-old girl on a highway west of Melbourne.
Mia Rossiter was travelling with her family on the Hamilton Hwy near Stonehaven about 9pm on Wednesday when a white Holden Berlina ploughed into their car.
The 12-year-old, who was a rear passenger of the family’s red Holden Barina, tragically died at the scene, while her parents, aged 26 and 38, were rushed to hospital.
Police announced on Saturday the driver of the Berlina, a 28-year-old North Shore man, had since been charged with dangerous driving causing death after the crash.
The man was also charged with breaching his parole, as well as driving while his license was suspended and two counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury.
His parole was revoked by police and he will remain in custody on remand to appear before Geelong Magistrates Court on January 8.
The fatal crash, one of two involving children just days into the new year, sent shockwaves through the local community.
Another child, seven-year-old Willow, who was in the Lismore family’s Berlina and was rushed to hospital following the crash.
Friend of the family Zach Challoner said the accident was a tragedy, with parents Paul and Danni and daughter Willow all still in hospital.
“Mia’s parents are in two different hospitals. Willow also went to a separate hospital, so the whole family’s been torn apart by the situation,” he said.
“She loved to make jokes, loved to be around everyone. She had a very infectious laugh where you just had to laugh when she started laughing.”
A 21-year-old man who was a passenger of Barina, and who was also from the North Shore, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
A Victoria Police spokesperson said they had received reports of the Berlina allegedly driving at speed, overtaking commuters just prior to the collision.
Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Peter Romanis said police were “infuriated” with the man’s alleged driving, believing the fatal crash was an “entirely preventable tragedy”.