Alleged ute driver charged with manslaughter over men swept away in NSW floodwater

A man has been charged with manslaughter over the deaths of two people who were swept away by floodwaters in southern NSW earlier this year.

Police say the 41-year-old drove his ute into floodwaters at Preston Creek Causeway near Goulburn on October 31, with three other men onboard.

Two of the men — 30-year-old Ghosn Ghosn and 32-year-old Bob Chahine — were allegedly sitting in the tray of the ute at the time.

Their bodies were found downstream the following month.

“As it entered the waters, the vehicle was immediately swept from the causeway,” NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden said.

“Two people inside the cabin managed to survive, but the two occupants [in the tray] … were swept downstream.

“Unfortunately, both males were located deceased.”

Ghosn Ghosn, 30, was allegedly sitting in the tray of the ute when he was swept away in floodwaters.(Supplied)

In a tribute on social media, Mr Chahine’s wife described the father-of-one as a loving parent and husband.

“You were my best friend, my protector, my comforter, my soulmate, the love of my life… You were my world,” Ms Chahine wrote.

“These words will never suffice the impact you had not only in our lives but all those who knew and loved you.”

The 41-year-old faces two counts of manslaughter and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

He has also been charged with one count of driving while suspended.

The Guildford man was arrested yesterday at Merrylands police station following months of police investigation.

Assistant Commissioner McFadden said attempts to drive through floodwaters had claimed seven lives this year.

“Driving through causeways and driving through flooded waterways is an inherently dangerous practice,” he said.

“The actions of drivers placing themselves and passengers of a vehicle [in floodwaters] is unacceptable.”

He was granted conditional bail ahead of his next court date on February 23, 2023.

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