AN ELDERLY man charged over the death of his wife and another man following a devastating crash on the New England Highway had been cleared to drive by his doctor, an Armidale court has heard.
Owen Glendower Croft, 83, appeared in Armidale Local Court on Wednesday after being charged with six offences following a head-on collision near Chiswick Station on November 2.
In April the matter had been adjourned to allow for the compilation of medical evidence, but Croft’s defence team asked for the matter to be held over again.
Defence solicitor Glen Kee said a subpoena had been issued to Croft’s doctor.
He told Magistrate Michael Holmes his client had a history of heart problems.
Mr Kee said there was suggestions Croft’s heart had “short circuited”, which could have contributed to the crash.
“He shouldn’t have been driving,” Magistrate Holmes said.
“He was cleared by his doctor … to drive,” Mr Kee said.
“He’s no longer driving.”
Mr Kee told the court a cardiologist had been engaged in the matter.
“We don’t have the expert’s report to hand,” he said.
Magistrate Holmes adjourned the matter to August 17.
“It’s important you progress this,” he said.
Croft was driving a Subaru sedan on November 2 when it crashed into a Ford Fairlane head-on near Chiswick Station.
His passenger, wife Sally Croft, 85, was transported to Armidale Rural Referral Hospital with extensive injuries.
She died less than a week later.
The crash also claimed the life of 68-year-old Phillip Morris, the driver of the Fairlane.
The 83-year-old was charged following an investigation into the crash, which concluded in mid December.
The most serious charge, dangerous driving occasioning death, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The negligent driving charge could attract a penalty of seven years’ imprisonment.
Croft has not formally entered a plea to the offences.
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