Jury unable to reach decision

NO DECISION: The jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges against Tanya Marie Smith.
NO DECISION: The jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges against Tanya Marie Smith. Kerri Burns-Taylor

AFTER more than a day of deliberation, an Ipswich jury has been unable to reach a decision on charges brought against Tanya Marie Smith.

Smith, 41, has been on trial at the Ipswich District Court accused of dangerously operating a car on the New England highway on June 29, 2010 causing the death of Grace Thompson.

She also is charged with causing the grievous bodily harm of one of her passengers.

She pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The jury was discharged on Wednesday after being unable to unanimously reach a decision on the matter.

That morning, the jury asked to be read portions of the evidence for a second time.

They re-heard evidence from witnesses who were among the first on the scene.

On Monday and Tuesday, the court heard that on the afternoon of June 29, 2010, Smith was driving a red Mitsubishi Magna north from Stanthorpe, while Bruce Thompson, now 83, was driving with Mrs Thompson towards Stanthorpe from Warwick.

Mr Thompson told the court he drove over a rise and saw the Magna veer fully into his lane.

He alleged he "didn't know what to do" and swerved into the northbound lane, but he said Smith veered back into her lane striking him.

Smith maintains she did not drive out of her lane.

Defence lawyer Frank Martin suggested Mr Thompson, who had admitted to normally having an afternoon nap around the time of the crash, may have nodded off. Mr Thompson denied this in cross-examination.

The matter will be mentioned again in the Ipswich District Court later this month where it will again be set down for hearing.

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