Driver admits running over Israel Jack

By Dana Kinita -
Israel Jack
Israel Jack

A Rotorua man has pleaded guilty for failing to check for any injuries after he hit Israel Jack with his car.

Hapeta Kane Hori Manley, 29, appeared in the Rotorua District Court yesterday before Judge Phillip Cooper for one count of driving while forbidden and being the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident, where a person was killed, failed to stop and ascertain whether anyone had been injured.

According to police summary of facts, on August 18 last year about 4.30am, Manley had just finished work and was driving his car home on Te Ngae Rd, dropping several people off along the way.

Police said a 20-year-old, who was later identified as Israel Jack, was lying on the road in Manley's lane along a straight stretch of Te Ngae Rd, between Pohutakawa and Robinson Aves.

"The male was wearing dark clothing and was lying in the area where the adjacent street light wasn't working.

"As the defendant drove along this stretch of road he did not identify the presence of the male in time to avoid running into him," the summary said.

"The defendant swerved to the left to avoid hitting Mr Jack but he felt his front and rear tyres run over him."

Manley continued home and made no attempt to stop and establish what he had hit or whether any injuries had been caused.

A few minutes later another car drove along Te Ngae Rd and struck Jack. Emergency services were called but he was found dead at the scene.

Manley handed himself into the Rotorua police station two days after the incident after seeing media reports.

"In explanation he stated, 'I thought it was a dog or an object. I just wanted to get home'," police stated.

"Now I realise I should have stopped. It was just black and I couldn't see anything."

Police have not been able to establish how Israel Jack came to be on the road in the first place.

He was found with multiple injuries which were caused by being struck by the cars.

"It could not be determined whether either of the two vehicle collisions caused the male's death."

A pre-sentence report was ordered and Manley will re-appear in court for sentencing on April 1.

Restorative justice was declined by Mr Jack's family.

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