Dangerous driver ignored passengers

By Melissa Nightingale

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A man who crashed his car into a tree didn't stop to check if his passengers were all right as he scrambled over one of them and fled the scene.

Karl Harry Ranginui drove "well in excess of the speed limit" along Moore Ave, Whanganui on the afternoon of May 7, police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen said yesterday.

A member of the public, concerned about the way Ranginui was driving, pulled over to let him pass.

Shortly afterwards he lost control of the car, which fishtailed and crashed into a tree, Ms Willemsen told the Whanganui District Court.

The windscreen was smashed and the door was "caved in".

Ranginui climbed over the front passenger and ran from the scene, making "no attempt to check if the other two passengers were injured".

When police found him, a breath test showed he had 554mcg of alcohol in his system. The legal limit is 250mcg.

The passengers were not injured. Ranginui pleaded guilty to driving dangerously, driving with excess breath alcohol, and failing to stop to ascertain injury.

Defence lawyer Stephanie Burlace understood the passengers were Ranginui's sister and cousin. Judge Smith referred the matter to Restorative Justice and remanded Ranginui to July 20 for sentence.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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