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Fijian woman 'came out of nowhere', says hit and run driver

HERALD SUN
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Update: 9:59PM A SERIAL traffic offender who killed a woman crossing the road on her way to a prayer meeting claimed the 58-year-old came out of nowhere.

Laisiane Lenat was carried 10 metres on the bonnet of the Honda Integra Ahmad Saraya, 20, was driving before she was thrown off and killed on the Hume Highway at Yagoona last month.

The P-plater pleaded guilty to failing to stop and render assistance in Bankstown Local Court yesterday.

He smiled and joked when he was granted bail a week after being charged on July 4 for the fatal collision the night before, but now faces up to 10 years jail.

After driving off following the fatal crash Saraya turned himself in six hours later accompanied by a lawyer.He admitted hitting Ms Lenat but claimed she came out of nowhere as she walked across a pedestrian crossing.

I was doing around 50 to 60kmh. The pedestrian was running across the road in front of me, she came from nowhere. I slammed on my brakes, he told police.

I was in shock, there were people around and I took off and went home.

He then refused to answer any more questions about the crash.

Ms Lenats housemate and colleague at Yagoona Nursing Home Michelle Tonji said there was no way Ms Lenat would have been running across the busy highway at 7pm.

She would never run across the road. She never rushed anything. She always takes her time, even walking, she said.

I am happy that he pleaded guilty but the fact he said she run in front of the car, she would never do that. He hit and run, how can someone do that? I want a strong sentence.

Ms Tonji said Ms Lenat was remembered as a caring devoutly religious Christian at her funeral.

She was a beautiful person with a beautiful soul and big heart, she said.

When Ms Lenat was thrown from the car nine metres past the intersection she died on impact.

Saraya then drove 160m along the highway before making a sharp left turn into a side street and fleeing to his fathers Guildford home.

The accused made no attempt to stop, render assistance or call for any type of assistance, police said.

Police initially thought Saraya may have been street racing and were looking for a second car, a two-door blue/black sedan, but investigations did not support this theory.

Court documents revealed Saraya didnt even hold a NSW drivers licence.

Police said Saraya had a continuous offence history relating to traffic matters since he got his P-plates in 2011.

In his first year of driving he had his licence suspended three times for speeding, including in a school zone.

Despite driving for more than three years he has never held a full licence. He also had provisional ACT licence.

Saraya will be sentenced in October.





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