A family is at war as sister sues sister over killer crash
A WOMAN who killed her sister in a horrific drink-driving crash is being sued by another sister in a $1.2 million lawsuit.
Kristy Maree Chmieluk, 38, has begun proceedings in Brisbane Supreme Court against Candice Lee Chmieluk and her third party insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, claiming she has suffered severe psychiatric issues leaving her unable to work since her other sister Sammy-Jo died.
Sammy-Jo, 24, was killed instantly after Candice crashed her 4WD while driving four times over the legal blood alcohol limit and on a suspended driver's licence four years ago.
The pair had been drinking at a Gold Coast surf club before Candice got behind the wheel on May 29, 2016.
Candice, then a 31-year-old mother of two, was later sentenced to five years prison, suspended after three months had been served behind bars.
She pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death while adversely affected by alcohol and her sentence was later unsuccessfully appealed by the Queensland Attorney-General.
When Candice was sentenced, Kristy tendered a long victim impact statement saying she had "forgiven" her sister and did not want her to go to jail.
"I have forgiven Candice … I don't know how I will cope if Candice is incarcerated," Kristy told the court in May 2018.
In the civil claim lodged on May 12 by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, it states Kristy was notified of the death of her sister on May 30, 2016 and later inspected Sammy-Jo's body in the morgue.
"The plaintiff was so shocked and distressed discovering the death of Sammy-Jo Chmieluk and subsequently developed post-traumatic stress disorder with panic attacks and social avoidance," it states.
The documents allege Candice owed a duty of care to Kristy and deceased sister Sammy-Jo to exercise caution when driving the 4WD that evening.
The claim states she failed to keep a proper look out, drove at excessive speed and drove while drunk.
The claim states the insurer is required to indemnify Candice of claims arising out of her negligence.
Of the $1.2 million, Kristy is seeking damages for economic loss and special damages for medical bills.
The claim states she previously worked at the University of New England in Armidale on a salary of $1,130 per week.
Court documents also state she worked at an automotive group earning $38,000 per year but was unable to return to work after her sister's death.
The claim states she will not be able to go back to work for at least two years due to her psychiatric condition.
Her lawyer Scott Keft from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said despite not being directly involved in the motor vehicle accident that caused Sammy-Jo's death "the psychological impact on Kristy has been devastating".
"Kristy's claim, which was filed in the Supreme Court this week, is against her sister Candice as the driver of the vehicle and Allianz Australia, which has statutory liability as the CTP insurer of her vehicle," he said.
"Since losing her sister Kristy requires regular psychological treatment and rehabilitation as well as medication to help her deal with her PTSD and panic attacks."
No defence has yet been lodged by Candice Chmieluk or Alliance Australia.
Originally published as Woman sues her sister over fatal crash