Jury to hear how young man ran over sister's boyfriend

THE moment a young man moved an automatic gear lever from neutral to drive, causing a white Commodore to lurch forward and kill his sister's boyfriend, will be scrutinised for the next four days.

A jury in the Brisbane Supreme Court must decide whether Samuel Collins, who was 17 at the time, was criminally responsible for killing David Eldridge in front of his family home at Alberton.

Mr Eldridge's family, who now live on the Sunshine Coast, were watching as the car's wheels caused fatal injuries to his chest just after 1am on July 14, 2011.

Samuel has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter or, alternatively, dangerous driving causing death, for his alleged role in the death.

Mr Eldridge, 21, earlier had a fight with his girlfriend, Brydee Collins, then 19, at their Varsity Lakes home.

He had a broken leg, with plaster encasing his foot and ankle, and needed crutches to get around; so his parents had picked him up to take him back to Alberton.

Brydee followed the car so she could retrieve a dog, which the couple had been arguing over.

Her brother, Samuel, was in the front passenger seat and two others were in the rear seat.

Crown prosecutor Glen Cash told the court there was an argument and scuffle at the Eldridge family home before Brydee was asked to leave.

He said recollections about what happened next differed but the jury would hear from witnesses that Brydee was revving the engine loudly while the car was in neutral.

Mr Cash said Samuel put it into gear and the car moved forward "in a rapid fashion", hitting Mr Eldridge and the home.

"There was no way he could escape the path of the car as it moved," he said.

Mr Cash said Brydee would tell the court she did not steer the car towards her boyfriend and did not deliberately run him down.

Defence barrister Craig Chowdhury said his client had "helped his sister" put the car into gear because she was having trouble.

He told the jury they should pay attention to evidence about the distance between the car and Mr Eldridge, Brydee's actions in manoeuvring the car and whether Samuel was aware of the way the car's wheels were pointing.

"It is absolutely disputed on behalf of Samuel Collins that he did anything that makes him criminally responsible," he said.

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