Man in court over SA double fatal crash

Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan was one of two women who died in a fatal crash.
Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan was one of two women who died in a fatal crash.

An Adelaide man charged over a road crash that killed two people, including a senior South Australian police officer, tested negative to drugs and alcohol, a court has been told.

But information is being sought over the mental health of Harrison Kitt leading up to and after the three-car collision in April.

The 20-year-old appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving over the crash which killed Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan, 55, and Tania McNeill, 53.

Prosecutor Patrick Hill said statements were being sought from medical officers who treated Kitt in the days after the crash, along with statements regarding his movements in the week or so leading up to the crash.

He said all the material would be relevant to any formal inquiry that might subsequently refer to the accused's mental state at the time.

"If there is to be a diagnosis that he suffered some sort of manic episode or psychosis at the time, then it would be important to know any underlying cause," Mr Hill told the court.

The court also heard that major crash investigators were still to complete a complex scene reconstruction which would include estimates of the speed of Kitt's vehicle.

It was told prosecutors had already taken about 90 statements but needed an eight-week adjournment before making a final determination on what charges would be pursued.

Defence counsel David Edwardson QC said the fact that Kitt tested negative to both drugs and alcohol at the time of the crash was "significant".

He said in the current circumstances the eight-week adjournment was perfectly reasonable.

Kitt was remanded on continuing bail to return to court on August 28.

At the time of the crash, Supt Shanahan was a passenger in a car driven by her husband Peter, a retired police detective.

He was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and later released.

Ms McNeill was driving a second car involved and Kitt the third vehicle.

Australian Associated Press