Home Vehicle Accidents Court hears Adelaide man was driving home after buying drugs when he crashed and killed woman in Kersbrook

Court hears Adelaide man was driving home after buying drugs when he crashed and killed woman in Kersbrook

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A driver on a “cocktail of drugs” had just sourced drugs before he allegedly killed a woman in one of the state’s worst cases of death by dangerous driving, a court hears.

Leif Branscheid – who is now behind bars — pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving over the March 2020 crash at Kersbrook in the Adelaide Hills.

The District Court heard the 46-year-old was “driving erratically” while high on methamphetamine, morphine and prescription Valium.

The driver crossed over double white lines and killed 47-year-old Hindmarsh Island woman Alina Terri Andrew. 

During sentencing submissions, the court heard there was no evidence Branscheid had slowed down, used his brakes or swerved to avoid the head-on collision.

Judge Paul Muscat said Branscheid was detected with drugs in his system and had been consuming illicit substances for days leading up to the crime.

Leif Branscheid (left) is accused of causing a head-on crash that killed a woman in 2020.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)

He said Branscheid almost caused two other head-on crashes on his drive home that night.

“His driving was extremely dangerous,” he said.

“And he has a shocking record.”

Some time after the fatal crash, the court heard Branscheid crashed his motorcycle while under the influence of methamphetamine and cannabis on Grand Junction Road at Valley View.

Branscheid’s lawyer, Stephen Ey, told the court his client had a problem with methamphetamine and had a poor history of driving offences.

“He’s gone into town to try and source some drugs of one sort or another and was on his way home at the time of the accident,” he told the court.

“He acknowledges that, as observed by a number of people, his driving was extremely erratic.

“The accident only occurred very close to home, about 50 metres from the turn-off.”

Driver vomits in court

Mr Ey told the court Branscheid only had a “fractured” memory of the crash due to his drug-affected state, but was remorseful.

He read a letter of apology to the court on his client’s behalf when Branscheid vomited through Tuesday’s hearing.

“The day I chose to drive under the influence of drugs, a choice I wholeheartedly regret,” Branscheid wrote in his letter of apology.

A burnt-out white small car at night
Leif Branscheid was under the influence of drugs when he crashed in the Adelaide Hills.(ABC News)

“That day changed not just one life but the lives of so many others.

“I wish I could take it all back but know that it’s impossible for me to do so.

“My words cannot express how sorry I am.”

The court heard Branscheid was at high risk of reoffending and had only completed his parole for other offences about seven months before the fatal crash.

Victim impact statements were not read to the court.

Branscheid will be sentenced next month.

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