HomeNewsAustraliaJohn Tsalapatis stands trial over fatal crash in SA

John Tsalapatis stands trial over fatal crash in SA

Author

Date

Category

John Tsalapatis is on trial in District Court this week for allegedly killing Bernice Sternberg, 61, by driving dangerously on Main Road in McLaren Vale on March 28, 2021.

The husband of the McLaren Vale Primary schoolteacher, Mr Sternberg, 66, was driving his wife of 36 years home at 5.30 p.m. when they came to the crossroads of Main Rd and McMurtrie Rd.

According to Adelaide Now, the court heard that Tsalapatis “T-boned” Mrs Sternberg’s Nissan Pulsar, with the point of impact being on the front passenger side, where Mrs Sternberg was sitting.

McLaren Vale teacher Bernice Sternberg who was killed in the crash on Main Road in March last year. Picture: McLaren Vale Primary School
McLaren Vale teacher Bernice Sternberg who was killed in the crash on Main Road in March last year. Picture: McLaren Vale Primary School. Photo: Adelaide Now.
Shrine to Bernice Sternberg at McLaren Vale Primary school. Photo Adelaide Now.
Shrine to Bernice Sternberg at McLaren Vale Primary school. Photo: Adelaide Now.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Jim Pearce KC stated that Tsalapatis was driving a black Subaru west at the crossroads and allegedly failed to yield while traveling at around 80km/h.

“In the few seconds or so before the impact his car slowed … but it barely slowed at all, it didn’t slow in any meaningful matter,” Pearce said.

Mrs Sternberg was cut from the wreckage and sent to Flinders Medical Centre for emergency treatment, but she died five days later from her extensive injuries; her husband suffered only minor injuries.

Tsalapatis, of Whyalla, pleaded not guilty to causing death and harm by dangerous driving. Tsalapatis’ lawyer, Jane Abbey KC, stated that it was undeniable that Tsalapatis required to yield at the crossroads, but whether her client’s driving was criminally hazardous was the point of debate.

Mr Sternberg, said that the incident was an “instant blur” and that he had no time to brake.

“I couldn’t even say to Bernice ‘look out,’ it was just impact,” Mr Sternberg said, while weeping.

“When I woke up [from] the impact my eyes were still shut and I said ‘honey are you OK?”

The trial is set to continue with further details to come.

Source: Adelaide Now

Recent posts