Drunk driver who killed TV3 staff member sentenced

By Brendan Manning

Brooke Todd (left) and Caitlin Todd were involved in a car accident that killed their mother Rebecca Todd, TV3 head of graphics, in December.
Brooke Todd (left) and Caitlin Todd were involved in a car accident that killed their mother Rebecca Todd, TV3 head of graphics, in December.

A drunk driver has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for causing the death of a young mother in a car crash.

Blair Alick McMillan was two times over the legal blood alcohol limit when he struck TV3 staff member Rebecca Todd in December.

He appeared at the Waitakere District Court for sentencing today after previously pleading guilty to a charge of causing the death of 39-year-old Rebecca Todd while drink driving, and two charges of injuring Ms Todd's two daughters.

Judge Lisa Tremewan sentenced McMillan to four years' imprisonment and disqualified him for driving for three years.

The public gallery at the Waitakere District Court was packed with family and friends of Ms Todd, and McMillan's supporters.

In a victim impact statement read by Ms Todd's sister Roxanne McKerras, she paid tribute to her sister as a great mother with an amazing presence.

"It's hard to put into words how hard this has been for me.

"Yes I'm pissed off, and yes I miss Bec every day.''

However, Ms McKerras pleaded for Judge Tremewan not to imprison McMillan, saying living with the guilt of killing her sister was punishment enough.

According to the police charge sheets in court earlier this year, at the time of the crash McMillan had a blood alcohol reading of 163 milligrams per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

The crash happened on December 21 at the intersection of Muriwai Rd and Hamilton Rd, West Auckland.

Ms Todd died at the scene, while her daughters, then aged 5 and 7, required hospital treatment.

She was head of TV3's graphics team for many years and had left the network to start a family.

Auckland 3 News bureau chief Keith Slater said at the time of the crash that Ms Todd returned on a freelance basis. She worked on news programmes and other shows, such as 7 Days.

He described her as a popular colleague and said her death left her colleagues "visibly shocked'' and "heartbroken'' for her daughters and partner.

- APNZ

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