Head-on crash shatters families

TWEED Heads detective David McCormack died instantly when a reckless driver caused him to crash head-on into a semi-trailer.

The Gold Coast driver had been driving his BMW at more than 150 km/h, overtaking cars and trucks, when the crash occured.

Det McCormack had been returning home when he was killed on August 12, 2007 near Halfway Creek between Grafton and Coffs Harbor.

Chevron Island resident Mark Bombardieri, 22, was the BMW driver and has pleaded guilty to aggravated dangerous driving causing the death of Det McCormack.

At Lismore District Court yesterday, he wept along with Det McCormack's family and friends when the officer's widow Fiona read her Victim's Impact Statement.

It was an emotional outpouring of the devastation and loss wrought on her family as a result of the death of her husband.

On the other side of the public gallery sat Bombardieri's somber family, his parents and two brothers, who had come across from Adelaide.

“David was a tall big man, the type of man who seemed indestructible, nothing could harm him, but looks are deceiving,” Mrs McCormack said.

“He was driving home to me and we were about to buy another house.”

Mrs McCormack revealed the couple, on a recent trip to Europe, had renewed their vows to each other on top of the Eiffel Tower, further planning their lives after more than 20 years of marriage.

As sobs were heard across the courtroom, Mrs McCormack revealed the depth of the change - her life and those of her children had 'imploded and fractured' as the family tried to cope with being left rudderless by the loss of the family's rock.

Crown facts revealed Bombardieri's driving that fatal day brought him to the notice of other drivers along the Pacific Highway, who told police he drove at high speed, overtaking on double lines or on the nearside, and into the path of oncoming vehicles.

The speed camera at New Italy captured him driving at 151km/h in a 100km/h zone and police recorded the speed of his BMW north of Grafton at 160km/h.

The case was adjourned to July 24 for defence argument to be heard.



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