THE prosecution say Ene Eneliko was effectively "driving with a blindfold on" and, despite his vision being impeded by the morning sun, did not slow down in the moments before he hit and killed a 17-year-old girl as she walked to the school bus stop at Brandy Hill in February last year.
They say this makes him guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death.
The defence say the teenage girl's death is the result of a tragic and unavoidable accident; a combination of a driver unfamiliar with the blinding nature of the sun at that time of morning on that stretch of road and the "reasonable possibility" that the girl was walking on the road at the time of the impact.
Judge Robert Sutherland, SC, will deliver his verdict and reasoned judgement on Monday morning after both defence barrister Peter Harper and Crown prosecutor Brendan Queenan delivered their closing addresses on Friday, bringing to an end what was an abbreviated judge-alone trial in Newcastle District Court this week.
"The law recognises that a driver may collide with a person on or near the roadway as a cause of some unavoidable, exceptional incident," Mr Harper said during his closing.
"That is precisely what I suggest tragically occurred here. The accused was driving with proper care and attention - the Crown has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not - when he was met with the completely unanticipated and unforeseeable exceptional blinding by the sun. And it was precisely at that time and place that the deceased was walking on the roadway, which all adds together to make this collision unavoidable."
Mr Queenan said Mr Eneliko had described during a police interview having the sun in his face and "not being able to see" on a straight stretch of road before the left-hand curve where the girl was struck.
"And yet he didn't reduce the speed of his vehicle," Mr Queenan said. "He didn't see [the teenage girl] at all. In effect, what he was doing was driving with a blindfold on."