ACT News

Father to be charged over crash that claimed his young daughter's life

Acacia Ward busking at the National Folk Festival in Canberra in March 2013.
Acacia Ward busking at the National Folk Festival in Canberra in March 2013.  Photo: Melissa Adams

A Kaleen father will face charges for a horror crash that claimed the life of his seven-year-old daughter in Canberra's north last year.

Christopher James Ward, 72, had been summonsed to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on charges of negligent driving causing death and not giving way at a give way sign.

ACT police officers at the scene of the accident at the corner of Southern Cross Drive and Chewings Street.
ACT police officers at the scene of the accident at the corner of Southern Cross Drive and Chewings Street. Photo: Melissa Adams

The matter was listed for its first appearance in the court on Tuesday morning.

But Ward did not appear and his lawyer, Adrian McKenna, had the matter adjourned for three weeks.

No plea was entered and no details of the allegations were read in court.

Mr Ward is expected to be officially charged when the matter next appears in court on February 9.

Acacia Ward was killed when a Nissan Pulsar, driven by her father, and a Nissan Navara collided at a Florey intersection on July 22.

A press statement issued by ACT Policing on the evening of the accident said the Navara had been travelling west on Southern Cross Drive and the Pulsar had been turning right into Chewings Street when the two vehicles collided about 7pm.

Paramedics attended the scene and treated the Kaleen Primary School pupil, before transporting her to the Calvary Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The defendant and the driver of the Navara were physically unharmed, but traumatised, in the crash.

Acacia was remembered as a brilliant musician who dreamed of becoming prime minister of Australia.

Her mother, Linda, who paid tribute to her daughter in The Canberra Times, said Acacia had been a confident and outgoing child capable of making anyone smile within minutes.

"She was a dancer, a musician, a performer, and when you were with her you could not help but smile yourself," she said.

"One day at the Jamison Market she made $166 and she came home and said to me 'Save this money for me and I'll buy a new violin and if I make more I'll buy a horse'."

The talented year 2 student could read novels above her age and tutored her mother, who migrated from China 13 years ago, in English.

Mrs Ward said Acacia could have achieved everything she wanted in life because she was a hard worker, naturally gifted and emotionally mature.

"I once asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said; 'If I'm not a famous star then I will be the prime minister, but with the Greens, as people should look after the environment'."