POLICE have upgraded the charges against the driver allegedly behind the wheel of a crash that killed his passenger in a charity rally.
Csaba Somogyi was not required to appear in Tamworth Local Court this week when his case was called for only the second time.
Magistrate Julie Soars excused the 45-year-old from attending, amid the COVID-19 court restrictions.
Somogyi was only accused of negligent driving occasioning death, but crash investigators have laid a fresh charge of dangerous driving occasioning death by driving in a manner dangerous.
He is yet to enter pleas and now the case has been adjourned to July for mention. A brief of evidence has been ordered and Somogyi remains on conditional bail.
The case has also been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Somogyi was behind the wheel of a Volkswagon Golf in the deadly crash on March 5 on Banoon Road at Banoon, near Borah Creek, just out of Manilla.
Police allege he lost control of the hatchback just after 1pm, and rolled several times before crashing into a tree.
Somogyi was treated for multiple injuries, while his passenger, a 49-year-old man, died at the scene, about 80km from Tamworth.
The pair were competing in the Riverina Redneck Rally and were en route from Warialda to Nundle on the day in question.
At the time, police said the crash occurred on a dirt road, but it was not raining at the time.