Cooma accident driver arrested from Sydney Airport while attempting to flee Australia

  • August 3, 2019

22 year old Sagar Bhattarai, who was behind the wheel during a car crash near Cooma has been arrested from Sydney Airport on Friday evening.  Police arrested the 22 year old Nepali national, foiling his attempt to flee from the country.

The accident occurred last week, on Sunday, July 28. Five friends were travelling to Snowy Mountains when their car lost control and crashed some 160 metres outside the Monaro Highway. Two occupants, a 22 year old female Samikshya Subedi who was seated at the back, and 21 year old Gopal Bhandari lost their lives. All three sustained injuries, and Bhattarai, along with another friend had to be flown into Canberra Hospital. Police responding to the accident were heard saying, ‘the other three are lucky to be alive’.

According to the police, high speed is a contributing factor to the accident, while driver Bhattarai maintains he swerved to save the car from an incoming kangaroo. The car left the highway, probably struck a tree, and rolled multiple times, finally landing on its back.

An earlier image of the car involved in the accident.
An earlier image of the car involved in the accident.

Police have charged Bhattarai with multiple offences – two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, two counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, cause bodily harm by misconduct, negligent driving occastioning death, and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. He was refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Court today.

Mr. Bhattarai is originally from Pokhara and was pursuing his studies in Sydney. The gang of five, all friends were en route Snowy Mountains when the tragedy occurred.