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Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an APNZ reporter based in Christchurch.

Truck driver admits he didn't see cyclist before fatal crash

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

An elderly truck driver today admitted he did not see a cyclist that he ran over and killed nearly three months ago.

John William Herridge, 75, appeared at Christchurch District Court this afternoon to admit a charge of careless driving causing the death of 22-year-old nurse Sharla Haerewa.

He was driving when his truck collided with Miss Haerewa on Lincoln Rd around 6.30am on April 2.

Miss Haerewa was cycling to work at Christchurch Hospital, and died at the scene.

The court heard today that Herridge, a driver for a wholesale food company, had missed a turn into Hillmorton Hospital that morning.

He turned the truck, carrying three pallets of food weighing 1800kgs, onto Lincoln Rd to drive back towards the hospital.

But as he turned left, Miss Haerewa, who had a front light and a rear light over her backpack, was pedalling in the cycle lane.

Herridge didn't see her, and ran her and her bike over, dragging her underneath the truck for approximately 10 metres.

Efforts to revive Miss Haerewa were unsuccessful, and she died at the scene from severe trauma to her head and chest.

Defence counsel Mark Callaghan said the victim's family may be willing to take part in the restorative justice programme.

He said Mr Herridge's previous convictions "are of some age" and "not really relevant to this charge".

Judge John Strettell called for pre-sentence and reparation reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing on October 1.

- APNZ

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