The driver of a campervan that allegedly crossed the centreline and crashed into an oncoming utility in the Coromandel on Friday night, killing an Auckland woman, has appeared in court.
Cody James Dickey of Newark, California, appeared at the Hamilton District Court today where he entered guilty pleas to charges of carelessly driving causing death and careless driving causing injury.
The court heard how Mr Dickey and his wife had been travelling around New Zealand for a week in a campervan before the accident happened on SH25 near Whenuakite on May 30 about 6.30pm.
The couple were due to leave the country the following day.
His lawyer, Mike McIvor, told the court Mr Dickey was travelling in wet conditions and thought he saw two sets of headlights heading towards him as he went around a bend.
The two vehicles collided and the impact saw Auckland woman Robyn Eilleen Derrick die of her injuries.
Her husband Philip Derrick was airlifted to Auckland Hospital with a range of injuries. He has since been discharged.
Mr McIvor said Mr Dickey was "shocked" and "devastated" and "really doesn't know where to go".
He said Mr Dickey had no savings and didn't have any notable assets in the US but had managed to raise $4,000 through family and friends to pay for emotional harm.
Mr McIvor wondered if there would be any worth in his client attending a restorative justice session as it was unclear whether Mr Derrick was ready to do so. He asked the court convict his client and order he make the payment of $4,000 for emotional harm caused so he could leave the country.
Community magistrate Sue Hovell said two families lives had changed as a result of the accident.
"Mr Derrick has lost his wife and and as he puts in his victim impact statement, his best friend," she said.
"That's a tragedy...however any restorative justice conference does help the healing process."
She stood the matter down to 2.15pm today so the two parties could discuss whether there will be a restorative justice session.
Describing Friday's incident as tragic, Mrs Grace said Police wanted to express their sympathies to the family of 52-year-old Auckland woman, Robyn Eilleen DERRICK, who lost her life in the crash.
"Incidents such as Friday's highlight why every day needs to be a road safety day on Waikato roads.
"To that end, this month Waikato Police will be focusing heavily on speed related offending as we work to prevent trauma on our roads and we ask the motoring public what they can do to achieve the same."