New charge against NRL star’s mum

·2-min read
Joan Taufua arrives at the Southport courts. Picture: Tertius Pickard.

The mother of a star Brisbane Broncos player – who is charged with the manslaughter of three people in a horror crash – has been formally hit with a fresh charge, with police alleging she was drink driving at the time of the incident.

Uiatu “Joan” Taufua, the mother of Broncos forward Payne Haas, was the sole survivor of a two-car collision in Bonogin, in the Gold Coast hinterland, in December last year.

Susan Zimmer, 70, her partner Chris Fawcett, 79, and Ms Zimmer’s daughter Steffanie, died at the scene after their silver Mercedes was allegedly knocked from the road.

Uiatu “Joan” Taufua remains in custody as her case proceeds through the court. Picture: Tertius Pickard.

Ms Taufua, 46, is charged with three counts of manslaughter, one count each of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, evading police and driving without a licence.

During a brief appearance before Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday, Magistrate Kerry Magee formally charged Ms Taufua with mid-range drink driving.

Police will allege she was driving under the influence of alcohol when the fatal crash occurred at Bonogin on December 30, 2022.

Appearing via video link, Ms Taufua did not enter any formal pleas but appeared to be smiling before her fresh charge was read out to her.

Defence lawyer Sophie Dagg told the court she was still waiting to receive key documents from police.

The court heard those documents included the forensic crash investigation unit’s report and the pathology report.

Assignment Freelance Picture Uiatu Taufua's new defence lawyer, Sophie Dagg, outside of Southport\n Magistrates Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Aisling Brennan
Uiatu Taufua's defence lawyer, Sophie Dagg, told court she is still waiting for key documents in the case against her client. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Aisling Brennan

Magistrate Magee ordered the officer in charge of the investigation provide all outstanding material to Ms Dagg within 28 days or they will have to answer to the court.

Police allege Ms Taufua was seen driving a black 2017 Mercedes wagon “dangerously” along Bonogin Rd near Calanthe Lane just before 5pm.

She allegedly fled the scene when officers activated their warning lights and attempted to intercept the vehicle.

No pursuit was undertaken.

The mother of Broncos player Payne Haas, Uiatu “Joan” Taufua, 46, shortly after her arrest in December. Source: 9 News.
The mother of Broncos player Payne Haas, Uiatu “Joan” Taufua, 46, shortly after her arrest in December. Source: 9 News.

Shortly afterwards, officers were flagged down by a motorist who informed them of a crash involving the black Mercedes wagon and another silver Mercedes hatchback about a kilometre down the road.

Emergency services were able to free the family from the silver Mercedes but they died at the scene.

Ms Taufua was pulled from the black Mercedes, which caught fire, and was taken to hospital.