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Driver pleads not guilty to driving dangerously before crash that killed Sophia Naismith

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 24/02/2021
a woman smiling for the camera: Sophia Naismith died after being hit by a Lamborghini outside of a restaurant in Adelaide. (Instagram) © Provided by ABC NEWS Sophia Naismith died after being hit by a Lamborghini outside of a restaurant in Adelaide. (Instagram)

The driver of a Lamborghini that hit and killed teenager Sophia Naismith outside an Adelaide restaurant in June 2019 has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving.

Alexander Campbell was driving the Lamborghini Huracan when he struck the 15-year-old and her friend Jordan Callea.

He was charged with causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The two girls were hit on the footpath in front of the House of Tien restaurant at Glengowrie on June 22, 2019.

Both were treated by paramedics but Ms Naismith, of Seaview Downs, died at the scene while Ms Callea, a 15-year-old from Richmond, was rushed to the Flinders Medical Centre.

Mr Campbell's lawyer, Craig Caldicott, had previously indicated his client intended to plead not guilty.

Mr Campbell showed no emotion as he entered a not guilty plea in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this afternoon.

In court, Mr Caldicott argued his client's charges should be downgraded, claiming the evidence was "all over the shop".

He said Mr Campbell was driving safely, travelling at 53 kilometres per hour in a 60kph zone.

"We're a bit disappointed — we thought there was no case to answer, [but] unfortunately, her honour (Chief Magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal) found there was a case to answer," Mr Caldicott said.

"This is clearly a case of no alcohol, no drugs, no inattention, and it was moderate acceleration, bearing in mind he was travelling 50 kilometres at the corner of Bell Street."

But prosecutor Tim Preston said there was evidence to support the dangerous driving charge.

Committal court hearings have focused on the type of tyres used by the car, and the driving mode it was in at the time of the crash.

Speaking outside court, Sophia's father Luke Naismith said he was "pleased" the case would be going to trial.

"We hope to see some justice for the senseless loss of our daughter Sophia," Mr Naismith said.

Mr Campbell will reappear in court in May.

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