Shaun Southern was ‘smiling and laughing’ before deadly Bussell Highway crash, court told
A witness has told Perth’s Supreme Court he saw a driver “smiling and laughing” after he forced him off a country road, before crashing head-on into a car on a major highway, killing one person and seriously injuring another.
Joshua O’Neill was giving evidence in the murder trial of Shaun Troy Southern, who is accused of murdering Jennifer Pratt and attempting to unlawfully kill Karen Williams near Capel, 200 kilometres south of Perth, on February 18, 2017.
Shaun Southern admits he was driving the car, but is fighting charges of murder. (Facebook: Shaun Southern)
The 46-year-old allegedly drove his Landcruiser four-wheel-drive into Ms Pratt’s vehicle on Bussell Highway after driving erratically for an extended period, including driving the wrong way down the dual-carriageway highway, which has a speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour.
Mr O’Neill has told the court he was travelling on Tuart Drive before the fatal collision when he saw the Landcruiser heading towards his own vehicle.
Mr O’Neill said he was forced to take evasive action, driving his car into the gravel, and the Landcruiser passed by with only a metre to spare.
Jennifer Pratt, 61, was killed in a crash on Bussell Highway near Capel in WA’s South West. (Facebook: Jenni Pratt)
The 23-year-old witness told the court he saw the driver smiling and laughing, and said it seemed like he had been aiming the Landcruiser at him.
In his opening address yesterday, prosecutor Justin Whalley accused Mr Southern of “lining up” Ms Pratt’s car and driving directly into it.
Mr Southern tested positive to methylamphetamine, the court heard, and whether or not he intended to kill or cause serious injury would be the key issue at trial.
Defence lawyer Justine Fisher yesterday told the jury her client did not deny his role in the crash and was guilty of serious crimes, but not murder.
The trial continues.