A PREGNANT woman killed in a high-speed car crash at Charlestown and a violent home invasion murder at Whitebridge.
Two lives lost, three months apart. But police investigating both crimes say they have one thing in common; Jeremy Garvey.
About three months before Mr Garvey, 24, of Glendale, Luke Jones, 23, of Gateshead, and Daniel Mahoney, 19, of Charlestown, are accused of impersonating police officers and then storming into Philip Steele's Lonus Avenue home armed with baseball bats and knives, Mr Garvey was allegedly behind the wheel of a stolen car that raced through a red light on the Pacific Highway at Charlestown and crashed into a service station, killing a 32-year-old pregnant passenger inside.
Garvey - who was allegedly disqualified from driving and substantially impaired by methylamphetamine and amphetamine at the time of the high-speed crash - suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital.
He was still recovering at John Hunter when his 32-year-old female passenger succumbed to her injuries on October 12.
So how was it that Garvey, now behind bars charged with both murder and manslaughter, was a free man on December 16, the night Mr Steele died?
The Newcastle Herald can reveal that there are at least two incidents, and possibly more, that meant that Mr Garvey was not in custody, and was essentially on the run from police, on the night of the violent home invasion.
First, although badly injured, Mr Garvey and another male passenger, 22, were both out of the stolen car when police arrived at the crash site in the early hours of September 21 last year.
And despite the serious injuries sustained by their pregnant passenger, both men refused to tell police who was driving at the time the stolen Subaru WRX lost control near Frederick Street and crashed into the service station and a parked car.
That meant crash investigators were forced to await the results of DNA testing, a process that can take months, before identifying the alleged driver and laying charges.
In the meantime, it's believed Mr Garvey discharged himself from hospital sometime before December.
But when police came to arrest him at Glendale over an unrelated matter on December 5, he allegedly escaped from police custody and went on the run.
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