A witness feared someone would be killed when she saw a Mercedes-Benz allegedly driven by Tasmania’s director of public prosecutions travelling in the wrong lane.
Sabina Van Ingen has told a Hobart court she passed the car shortly before it was involved in a fatal crash.
Prosecutors allege DPP Tim Ellis was driving in an overtaking lane for oncoming traffic when the Mercedes collided with a Toyota Corolla last year.
The Toyota’s driver, 27-year-old Launceston woman Natalia Pearn, was killed.
Ellis has pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing death by negligent driving.
Ms Van Ingen became emotional as she described her feelings on passing the Mercedes.
“I said to my husband that he’s going to kill somebody,” she told the Hobart Magistrates Court.
Ms Van Ingen said she didn’t have time to flash her headlights at the car as she watched it stay within the lane for around 100 metres.
She heard of the fatal crash in a phone call to her father that evening and called police.
Other witnesses told of their fears of an accident when they observed a car in the wrong lane on the Midland Highway between Hobart and Launceston.
Jane Bird, a passenger in the car behind Ellis’s, said the southbound Mercedes moved into the wrong lane for no apparent reason.
“My first thought was … what is that car doing?” Ms Bird said.
“(We) thought potentially something terrible could happen.”
Ms Bird said the car was driven “smoothly and quite controlled” in a middle lane meant for northbound traffic.
She told the driver of the car she was in to slow down.
The pair came across the aftermath of the crash, which also included a third car, when they rounded a bend.
Crash investigators have told the court the head-on impact most likely occurred in the northbound middle lane.
They say there is no evidence of strong braking or violent steering from either car.
Ellis told police in an interview soon after the accident he didn’t recall the first impact, with the Toyota.
He said he had been diagnosed with sleep apnoea for 18 months and it would be the only explanation if his car had been in the wrong lane.
The hearing will continue on Wednesday.