Simone Rutley
Simone Rutley Alina Rylko

Man 'substantially impaired' before crash which killed woman

A NORTHERN Rivers man was allegedly drunk and high on cannabis when he was involved in a crash on Nimbin Rd which ended the life of much loved local woman Simone Rutley.

Jason Warne, of Empire Vale, appeared before Lismore Local Court for the first time on Monday this week facing a number of charges in relation to the deadly crash on Nimbin Rd which occurred about 5pm on November 10 last year.

Police allege the 43-year-old was "very substantially impaired" when his white 2008 Toyota Landcruiser crossed to the wrong side of the road and collided with Ms Rutley's oncoming car, in a 50kmh zone.

Ms Rutley, a cancer ward social worker at Lismore Base Hospital, was travelling home from a shift at the time of the crash. She was 49.

Officers from the Far North Coast crash investigation unit commenced an investigation following the crash and Warne was formally charged in April.

He is charged with aggravated dangerous driving under the influence of drugs, dangerous driving occasioning death - under the influence, dangerous driving occasioning death - drive manner dangerous, negligent driving occasioning death, driving under the influence of drugs, and not keeping left of the dividing line.

During a brief mention the matter was adjourned to August 22, with Warne excused from appearing.

He has been granted conditional bail, and must not drive at any time, reside at his Empire Vale home, and provide police of his interstate work roster and inform them when he leaves and returns to NSW.


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