Woman pleads guilty after Tauranga man killed

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Rhys Middleton. Photo/supplied
Rhys Middleton. Photo/supplied

A woman visiting New Zealand on a working visa has pleaded guilty to killing a Tauranga motorcyclist when her car collided with him near Napier in February.

Rhys Middleton, 23, died when the motorbike he was driving along State Highway 5, in Eskdale, north of Napier, collided with Xiao's vehicle in February.

Jieling Xiao appeared before Judge Geoff Rea and Judge Paul Mabey at Napier District Court and admitted to one charge of driving dangerously causing death.

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The pair had both been travelling in the same direction when the crash occurred.

Mr Middleton was among a group of motorcyclists when the crash happened at 10am.

His brother, Ryan, tried to save his little brother, and that brought some comfort to the family, their father Mike Middleton told the New Zealand Herald following the crash.

Mike Middleton was also riding with the group, who were part of the Bay of Plenty Road Pirates SMC (Social Motorcycle Club) and returning to Tauranga from the Bay MC One Night Stand motorcycle event the day before.

But he was further ahead and did not know what had happened until he stopped in Taupo, he then had to make the heart breaking journey back to where his son lay on the side of the road.

The motorcyclist had a fitting send-off including a tribute ride by Mr Middleton's many friends in the motorcycling fraternity.

Xiao will return to court for sentencing in June.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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