An Australian race car driver is facing manslaughter charges in California after a tragic wrong-way crash that killed an elderly American couple.
31-year-old Luke Nardini of Western Australia allegedly drove a BMW on the incorrect side of Highway 84 near San Francisco on Friday evening and collided head-on with a Ford Taurus at high speed. The driver and passenger of the Ford, 80-year-old Jack and Linda Davis, both died from their injuries.
Prosecutors say Nardini was traveling around 95km/h around a blind turn where the speed limit was just 70km/h. He had recently arrived in the U.S. and was apparently unfamiliar with the winding mountain road.
Nardini appeared in court this week and pleaded not guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter. His mother made an emotional trip from Australia and said the family is devastated but determined to support her son through the ordeal.
The close-knit racing community back home also offered glowing character references for Nardini, known as a respectful, responsible driver. But for the victims’ families, the pain of losing their elderly loved ones in such a senseless tragedy remains fresh.
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