Penina Lopesi, a 54-year-old mother of eight, was granted bail after appearing in Liverpool Local Court on Thursday for driving a bus that mounted a kerb outside a Sydney school and killed a 14-year-old boy. The boy was taken to Liverpool Hospital in critical condition and passed away shortly after. The court was filled with Lopesi’s family, who supported her throughout the hearing. To ensure her attendance in future court dates and to maintain the safety of the community, she was required to surrender her passport, stay away from the school within a 5 km radius, not drive any vehicles, report to police three times a week, and abide by other conditions.
Mostafa Daoudie, Lopesi’s lawyer, commented on the tragedy outside the court and asked for privacy on behalf of his client. She was later released with a white blanket over her head, surrounded by her family. On the day of the incident, she was taken to Liverpool Police Station for mandatory testing and charged with one count of dangerous driving occasioning death and another of negligent driving occasioning death. Magistrate Peter Thompson accepted that there was no explanation for the conduct and no evidence of medical issues or vehicle faults.
Macarthur Anglican School headmaster Dr. David Nockles stated that the vehicle had lost control as it left the bus bay, mounting the kerb and striking the boy who was in Year 9. The school has brought in outside counsellors from other Christian schools, Anglicare, the police, and the ambulance service to assist students and staff. The case will next be heard in Campbelltown Local Court on April 12.
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