A New Zealand-born woman who hit and killed a schoolgirl while driving for the first time in Sydney in 2014 has narrowly escaped being deported from Australia after finishing her jail term.

Puipuiomaota Galuvao was 26 when she took the wheel of a friend's Mitsubishi Challenger 4WD, driving 100m down a busy Kogarah street before losing control on a corner.

She smashed through a bus stop and hit 16-year-old Aneri Patel, trapping her under the car and ploughing on into the front of a chemist shop, injuring a shop worker and an elderly customer.

Emergency teams tried to free Patel but she died at the scene, police said.

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Galuvao, Watson and Watson's two young children who were passengers in the car were unhurt.

The Mitsubishi Challenger 4WD ploughed through a bus stop and into a chemist shop front, killing Aneri Patel and injuring two others. Photo / News.com.au
The Mitsubishi Challenger 4WD ploughed through a bus stop and into a chemist shop front, killing Aneri Patel and injuring two others. Photo / News.com.au

Galuvao was arrested after the crash and charged with offences including dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death and never licensed person drive vehicle on road, police said.

Galuvao had never driven before that day and had no license, but had been pressured by a friend to drive, tribunal documents show.

She had accompanied her friend Heidi Watson, 29, that morning to court, where Watson's driver's license was suspended. Trying to be helpful, Galuvao agreed to drive the 4WD for Watson but soon lost control and crashed.

At her sentencing in 2016 Judge David Frearson said Galuvao had "absolutely no driving experience".

"She did not know how a car worked other than knowing how to turn the stereo on and get some air-con," he said, according to an ABC report.

After the crash she was vomiting, hyperventilating and heard yelling "What have I done?", Judge Frearson said.

The court heard that Galuvao had wanted to hit the brakes, but had pressed the wrong pedal, the ABC said.

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Aneri Patel, 16, was killed when Puipuiomaota Galuvao lost control of a 4WD and crashed into a bus stop. Photo / Supplied
Aneri Patel, 16, was killed when Puipuiomaota Galuvao lost control of a 4WD and crashed into a bus stop. Photo / Supplied

Patel was her parents' only child, described by her father Nikul as having "a heart of gold".

In a victim impact statement he said she had "big dreams and a bright future in front of her...we have been robbed of being parents and grandparents", according to news.com.au.

"Whatever time you spend in jail will never be enough for the crime you committed," he told Galuvao.

Galuvao told the judge at her sentencing hearing she wished she had died instead of Patel.

She was convicted in March 2016 of six offences including dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and sentence to 4 years, 6 months in jail with a non-parole period of 2 years, 9 months.

Galuvao is a New Zealander, having moved to Australia in 1998 with her family when she was 11.

In November 2017 her special category visa was cancelled by the officeAustralia's home affairs minister Peter Dutton as she failed the character test due to having a "substantial criminal record". The decision meant Galuvao would be deported back to New Zealand.

But in an unusual move, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia overruled the decision for the sake of her sons, aged 8 and 10.

The pair live with her parents and brother and had a loving and nurturing relationship with their mother, tribunal senior member Milton Griffin, QC, said.

Decisions made under the Migration Act 1958 must take into account the protection of the Australian community from criminals, but must also consider what is in the best interests of affected minor children in Australia.

The Migration Act also requires the expectations of the Australian community be considered. Griffin accepted that the Australian public may disagree with his decision but said nonetheless it was in the boys' best interests that their mother, now 31, remain in Australia.

Patel's death and the serious injury of two other people were "entirely foreseeable consequences" of Galuvao's actions, Griffin wrote in his decision, published this month.

"The Applicant chose to drive a motor vehicle having neither a driver's licence nor any experience driving motor vehicles. She was, however, pressured by her companion to an extreme extent and gave in to that pressure," he wrote.

"The Applicant drove the motor vehicle for a short distance, lost control of it and mounted the footpath, careering through the store front of a chemist shop. The entirely foreseeable consequences which flowed included a death and serious injury to two people."

But Galuvao had not been driving drunk or drugged and was "doing her incompetent best", he found.

The risk of her reoffending was extremely low, Griffin wrote. There was no evidence she had previously done anything illegal and she had been a "model prisoner" while serving her time.