Stacey Panozzo has been charged over the fatal road crash death of her twin son
Stacey Panozzo has been charged over the fatal road crash death of her twin son

Mum ‘high on meth’ before crash that killed twin son

A MOTHER will face court charged with killing her twin son in a smash on the state's Fleurieu Peninsula while high on drugs.

Stacey Panozzo, 34, is accused of being under the influence of ice when she crashed her silver Holden Commodore station wagon last month, killing her "adored" seven year-old boy Jackson Levi Rayner.


Also injured in the crash, on Brookman Rd, Kuitpo, south of Adelaide, was the boy's twin brother and their two year-old sister as the family returned home from a beach holiday.

In a dramatic development on Saturday, police announced that Ms Panozza, of Callington, 55km southeast of Adelaide, had been charged with aggravated causing death, and causing injury, both by dangerous driving.

Major Crash police will allege the "circumstances of aggravation are that she was driving with methamphetamine in her system at the time of the crash".

Detectives arrested her on Friday night after a six week investigation. If found guilty, she faces life in jail and a minimum 10 year driving ban.

The mother, who grew up in the Adelaide Hills, suffered critical injuries after being trapped in her car for more than an hour.

Her surviving children were both seriously injured - the toddler was thrown from the vehicle and suffered head wounds while her brother sustained significant chest injuries.

All have been released from hospital.

Jackson, who she described as her "adored son", died at the scene - just three weeks after his birthday - despite paramedics' frantic efforts.

He became the state's 87th road crash victim, compared to 72 at the same time last year.

Authorities investigated reports the station wagon swerved to avoid a kangaroo in a 100km/h zone before it hit a tree at 6.30am on November 13 - before a passing motorist discovered the wreckage four minutes later.

Police on Saturday declined to comment further about the kangaroo claims.

Royal Adelaide Hospital's trauma director Dr Bill Griggs, who managed the air response to the crash, said it was a "very difficult" incident to attend.

Found in the wreckage were "holiday" items including childrens' flotation devices and surfboards.

The woman's partner Marcus Rayner, 40, was not involved in the crash, in which the car veered off the road and hit a gumtree.

He has been too distressed to speak publicly but in a tribute published in The Advertiser he and his partner said Jackson would be "forever in our hearts".

The mother, a self-described "stay at home mummy" is an avid user of social media, which she used to document her children's lives.

The small, tight-knit Callington community, population 325, has been in mourning since and have rallied around the family.

Locals and the boy's principal have told of their town's collective shock.

Callington Primary School, Kerryn Harvey, has said classmates and teacher were devastated by the loss of one of its students and grief counselling has been offered in support.

A police spokeswoman said the mother was bailed to appear in the Mount Barker Magistrates Court in March.

News Corp Australia

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