Daughter of family killed in Gold Coast crash wants tougher rules for Queensland drivers


Daughter’s demand for harsher road rules after her family is killed in horror crash and NRL star’s mother is charged with manslaughter

  • A daughter who lost her mum and sister in a horror smash wants stricter rules
  • Claudine Snow has called for mandatory jail time for drivers who evade police  
  • Uiatu ‘Joan’ Taufua allegedly ran into her family’s car on the Gold Coast last year 

The daughter of a woman who was killed after a black Mercedes ploughed into her car has called for mandatory jail time for drivers who flee police. 

Claudine Snow’s mum Susan Zimmer died in the horrific crash after Uiatu ‘Joan’ Taufua allegedly smashed into her car in the Gold Coast Hinterland last Friday.

The devastating impact in Bonogin killed all inside, including her sister Steffanie and her mum’s partner Chris Fawcett. 

Taufua, who is the mother of Broncos star Payne Haas, has been charged with three counts of manslaughter and faces charges of dangerous driving, unlicensed driving and evading police. 

Claudine Snow’s mum Susan Zimmer (pictured together) died in the horrific crash after Uiatu ‘Joan’ Taufua allegedly smashed into her car last month on the Gold Coast Hinterland

Broncos star Payne Haas's mother Uiatu 'Joan' Taufua (pictured in 2019) is being subject to welfare checks while in jail

Broncos star Payne Haas’s mother Uiatu ‘Joan’ Taufua (pictured left in 2019 and right on Tuesday) is being subject to welfare checks in jail after allegedly causing a car crash that killed three

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Procter said police would allege Taufua’s vehicle was driven in an extremely dangerous manner on the wrong side of the road at high speed. 

The tragedy has prompted Mrs Snow to call for dramatic penalty changes for motorists who try to outrun police in Queensland.

She told the Courier Mail there should be mandatory jail time for offenders, which could be called ‘Susan’s Law’ after her mother. 

‘There has to be a greater deterrent for people to evade police … At the moment people know if they speed off the police won’t chase them,’ Mrs Snow said. 

‘The other side of the coin is that you don’t want to see police give chase and end up in a tragic accident anyway, but there has to be something better than the current system.

‘If I could bring about some constructive change, I know Mum would be proud of me.’ 

The law could be similar to Skye’s Law in NSW after toddler Skye Sassine died in a car accident caused by a man fleeing police. 

Susan Zimmer, 70, and her daughter Steffanie, 35, (together above) were killed after Taufua allegedly collided with their silver Mercedes

Susan Zimmer, 70, and her daughter Steffanie, 35, (together above) were killed after Taufua allegedly collided with their silver Mercedes

Retired doctor Chris Fawcett, 79, (above) was killed during the car crash in Bonogin on Friday

Retired doctor Chris Fawcett, 79, (above) was killed during the car crash in Bonogin on Friday

The devastating impact in Bonogin killed all inside, including her sister Steffanie and her mum's partner Chris Fawcett, but Taufua survived (pictured, the aftermath of the crash)

The devastating impact in Bonogin killed all inside, including her sister Steffanie and her mum’s partner Chris Fawcett, but Taufua survived (pictured, the aftermath of the crash)

NSW authorities made law changes after the 19 month old was killed in the horror crash in 2009, where offenders now face three to five years in prison. 

Queensland penalises such offenders with a maximum three years prison sentence but a magistrate is able to give them a fine of about $7,100 instead.  

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said Queensland had the toughest laws in the state for police evaders. 

‘While the sentencing decision is an independent matter for the courts, the Parliament has made it clear that this type of offending is most serious,’ he said. 

Taufua (pictured) remains is in the Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre at 'medium risk' where she is checked up on every hour for her welfare

Taufua (pictured) remains is in the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre at ‘medium risk’ where she is checked up on every hour for her welfare

Taufua remains is in the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre at ‘medium risk’ where she is checked up on every hour for her welfare.

The mum of Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas was transported to the centre from the Southport watch house on Wednesday, after being moved from the Gold Coast University Hospital on Tuesday. 

It is understood she is ‘mentally devastated’ by the tragedy. 

Meanwhile, a funeral for Ms Zimmer and her daughter Steffanie will be held next Friday on the Gold Coast.

ALLEGED TIMELINE OF THE CRASH 

FRIDAY – DECEMBER 31

Police allege patrolling officers on Bonogin Road near Calanthe Lane spot Taufua’s 2017 black Mercedes ‘being driven dangerously’ at about 5pm.

It said officers activated their lights and sirens but did not chase Taufua after deciding pursuit could pose risk to public safety.

Police were flagged down by a passing motorist a short time later who said there’d been a collision involving a black 2017 Mercedes and silver 2018 Mercedes.

The incident was roughly a kilometre from where police claim to have attempted to intercept Taufua.

It is alleged Taufua veered into the opposite lane and collided with the car carrying Chris Fawcett, 79, his partner Susan Zimmer, 70, and her daughter Steffanie, 35.

Emergency services were able to free two people from the silver Mercedes however all three died at the scene.

Taufua was freed from her vehicle and taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with excessive external injuries and a bruised lung. 

MONDAY – JANUARY 2

Police charge 46-year-old Taufua with three counts of manslaughter and one count each of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, evade police and drive without a driver’s license. 

TUESDAY – JANUARY 3

Taufua is seen entering the Southport, Gold Coast, watch house after being released from Gold Coast University Hospital.

She is filmed limping from the back of a police van wearing a hospital wristband, arm cast and compression socks. 

WEDNESDAY – JANUARY 4 

Taufua is transferred to the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre after it is found her alleged role in Friday’s crash breached the conditions of her parole from assault offences in September. 

THURSDAY – JANUARY 5

News surfaces Taufua is under hourly welfare checks but remains in a normal cell. She is reportedly considered a ‘medium risk’ inmate.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk