A woman who tragically lost multiple family members days after Christmas in a horror crash involving an NRL star’s mother has thanked the community for the ongoing support as the first anniversary fast approaches.
Uiatu “Joan” Taufua, the mother of Broncos forward Payne Haas, is charged with three counts of manslaughter, one count each of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, evading police and driving without a licence.
She was the sole survivor of a two-car collision in Bonogin, in the Gold Coast hinterland, on December 30, 2022.
The three people in the second car, Susan Zimmer, 70, her partner Chris Fawcett, 79, and Ms Zimmer’s 35-year-old daughter Steffanie, each died at the scene.
Speaking outside court on Thursday, Claudine Snow – the daughter and sister of Susan and Steffanie – thanked the community for their ongoing support since the crash.
“I just wanted to say thank you for the public support and I will make a comment when it’s appropriate,” she said flanked by her family.
Thank you for the support of everyone. Thank you”.
Police allege Ms Taufua was driving under the influence when her black 2017 Mercedes wagon was involved in the fatal crash.
Defence barrister Martin Longhurst, who is acting on behalf of Ms Taufau‘s Sydney-based law firm Kings Law, told Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday a further adjournment in the case was required.
Mr Longhurst said the NSW forensic psychologist engaged by Kings Law to write a medical report for Ms Taufau was yet to be given access to the jail due to administrative delays.
“There are significant merits to getting a report for the committal,” Mr Longhurst said.
The court previously heard Ms Taufau’s lawyers had organised for her to undergo medical tests after raising concerns about her health.
Magistrate Kerry Magee adjourned the matter to March 21 next year to allow the report to be completed.
She queried whether there was any indication how Ms Taufua’s lawyers wished to proceed with the case because “the matter’s just sitting here doing nothing”.
Mr Longhurst told the court Kings Law are waiting for the medical report to be completed before proceeding.
Ms Taufua did not appear before Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday, as she remains in on remand at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre.
She is yet to enter any formal pleas.
Police will allege Ms Taufua was seen driving “dangerously” along Bonogin Rd near Calanthe Lane just before 5pm the same afternoon as the fatal crash.
She was pursued by police before allegedly fleeing the scene when officers activated their warning lights and attempted to intercept her car.
It will be alleged in court that officers did not pursue Ms Taufua.
Moments later, the officers were notified to a crash involving the two cars about a kilometre down the road.
Emergency services were able to free the family of three from their silver Mercedes, but they each died at the scene.
Ms Taufua was pulled free from of her black Mercedes, which caught fire.
She was taken to hospital but was later arrested by police.
Source website: www.foxsports.com.au