No conviction over fatal Twizel crash

The woman was discharged without conviction. Photo / File
The woman was discharged without conviction. Photo / File

A Twizel woman who lost control of a vehicle leading to the death of her husband and injuries to her daughter has been discharged without conviction.

Denise Mary Arkless (48) appeared in the Oamaru District Court today on two charges - one of careless use of a vehicle causing death and one of careless use causing injury.

The summary of facts said Arkless and her daughter travelled to Timaru on October 5 last year to pick up her husband, Steven Skinner, who was discharged from hospital that day.

Just after 4pm while travelling home along State Highway 8, near Simon's Pass, Arkless' vehicle drifted off to the left-hand side of the road just before a moderate right-hand corner.

Arkless then pulled the vehicle back sharply into the roadway, where she lost control, and the vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof in the south-bound lane.

Mr Skinner, who was in the front passenger seat, died instantly as a result of his injuries.

Arkless' daughter Kaya Skinner, then aged 14, was the rear seat passenger. She and her mother both received injuries and were flown by rescue helicopter to Christchurch Hospital.

Kaya received bruising to her right leg, scratches and a foot injury which required her to use crutches for a couple of weeks.

Judge Joanna Maze said today that the consequences Arkless faced were life-long and there was no public interest in convicting her.

Arkless had no previous convictions, and the crash was the result of a "momentary lapse of attention".

Judge Maze said what Arkless needed was the continuation of support from her family and her husband's family so she could return to as much of a normal life as possible.

- Otago Daily Times

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