Driver In Fatal Daylesford Pub Crash Granted Bail Amid Controversy

A Melbourne driver who was involved in the fatal crash outside the Royal Daylesford Hotel last month that claimed the lives of five people, has been granted bail by a Melbourne magistrate.

William Swale is facing multiple charges, including five counts of culpable driving causing death, two counts of negligently causing serious injury, and seven counts of reckless conduct endangering life. 

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The victims of the tragic incident include Pratibha Sharma, 44, her husband Jatin Kumar, 30, and their nine-year-old daughter Anvi

Additionally, Vivek Bhatia and his son Vihaan lost their lives in the crash, while Vivek’s wife Ruchi and younger son Abir sustained injuries but have since been released from the hospital.

Magistrate Brett Sonnet granted bail with a $250,000 surety, with the condition that Swale must not drive a motor vehicle. 

The court heard that the 66-year-old driver had already surrendered his passport, and bail was granted with the condition that he remain in the country and not contact witnesses involved in the case, except for his doctors.

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Swale’s defence lawyers argued that the tragic crash was the result of a medical episode, claiming that he had received nine warnings on his phone about low blood-glucose levels in the lead-up to the incident. 

The defence contends that Swale, who is diabetic, will plead not guilty.

During the hearing, the defence emphasised Swale’s cooperation, surrendering his passport, and being a “model patient” in managing his diabetes. 

Mr Sonnet disagreed with the defence’s claim that the prosecution case was weak and stated that the case bears similarity to instances involving driving while fatigued.

The case is set to return to the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on April 18 next year.

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