Vic woman may fight road death charges

Amber Wilson

A 64-year-old woman has made her first court appearance, charged with culpable driving, causing the deaths of four women in regional Victoria who were returning home after a night of line dancing.

Stawell resident Lorraine Nicholson, who is on bail, is charged with dangerous driving and culpable driving causing death at Navarre on May 5.

She is also accused of failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Stawell-Avoca Road and Ararat-St Arnaud Road and driving at 89km/h in an 80km/h zone.

Line dancing friends Elaine Middleton, Margaret Ely, Dianne Barr and Claudia Jackson, aged 64 to 75, were returning home when a Jeep allegedly T-boned their Kia on the isolated stretch of road.

All four women died of internal injuries.

Nicholson suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the alleged crash.

Nicholson's lawyer Andrew Madden told Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday the matter may proceed to a jury trial.

Nicholson was supported in court by her husband and a younger male relative.

The court was told during the preliminary filing hearing that Nicholson must surrender her passport to the court as part of her bail conditions.

She was bailed to reappear in court on September 20 for a committal mention.