Widow avoids jail over classroom crash that killed two children

A driver has avoided jail over a 2017 crash in Sydney’s west that killed two students and injured three others.

The mother-of-four was late for school drop at Banksia Road Public School in November 2017 and lost control when a water bottle fell into her footwell.

Year 3 students Jihad Darwiche and Andrew Encines were killed during the incident. (9News)

Al-Shennag claims she slammed on the brake but investigators found she mistakenly hit the accelerator, reaching speeds of 74 km/h and hitting a classroom.

The court heard she had genuine remorse but created this scenario to come to terms with the tragedy.

Year 3 students Jihad Darwiche and Andrew Encines were killed and three of their classmates were injured.

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Maha Al-Shennag says she still suffers from PTSD and survivor’s guilt. (9News)

A judge today described it as a “freakish accident” and criticised prosecutors for going after the widow on charges of manslaughter.

Prosecutors were also criticised for dragging the case out for almost four years, adding to the suffering of the victims’ families.

Al-Shennag was eventually allowed to plead guilty to dangerous driving causing death and was today spared from going to jail.

She will instead have to abide by a three-year community corrections order, which includes 400 hours of community service.


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