SA cabbie guilty of causing fatal crash

Michael Ramsey

An off-duty taxi driver has been found guilty of killing another man in a high-speed, head-on crash in the Adelaide Hills.

Bo Xi Li, 30, had pleaded not guilty in the SA District Court to causing death by dangerous driving in the September 2012 crash, which killed 68-year-old Trevor Bird in Houghton.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years' jail and a 10-year loss of licence.

Both Li and Mr Bird were taxi drivers but neither were on duty at the time of the crash.

Li also pleaded not guilty to three counts of dangerous driving causing harm to his partner, who was in the back of his car, a friend who was sitting in his front passenger seat and Mr Bird's partner, who was in the other vehicle.

A jury on Monday returned a majority guilty verdict on all four counts after a week-long trial.

Li had indicated he was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated driving without due care but prosecutors rejected the offer.

The court heard Li had been speeding and had veered onto the wrong side of a winding road when he collided with the front of Mr Bird's van after returning from an outing in the Barossa Valley.

Prosecutor Kos Lesses said data had been recovered from the airbag control module in Li's car which showed he had been travelling at 104km/h about two seconds prior to the collision, which took place in an 80km/h zone.

Defence lawyer Bill Boucaut SC acknowledged Li had been driving badly but said this did not mean he was driving dangerously.

"Not all bad driving transcends into that truly dangerous category of driving, which is at the top end of the scale," he said during the trial.

Li was bailed to face sentencing submissions on August 31.