A Papamoa man who smoked cannabis within hours of the Maungatapu bridge fatal crash that killed 24-year-old Tauranga father Gregory Woledge has been sentenced to community work and supervision.

Iain Stewart Crisp, 45, was also ordered to pay reparation to his victims.

He was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today to 350 hours' community work and nine months' supervision after earlier having pleaded guilty to a raft of driving and cannabis charges.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.


Judge Christopher Harding ordered Crisp to pay $38,000 emotional harm reparation, $29,000 of which will be paid into a trust account set up in the name of Mr Woledge, and $9000 to Mr Woledge's work colleague Ashley Donkersley.

Crisp earlier admitted one charge each of careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury.

The other charges were possession of cannabis, possession of cannabis seeds, possession of a utensil for smoking cannabis, offering to supply cannabis, and making a false statement in a log book.

Crisp was also has been ordered to pay $11,000 to the driver of a third vehicle and $16,134.60 to Opus to cover the cost of repairs to the bridge.

Constable Deane O'Connor of the Tauranga police speaks to media about the brave decision he made to dive into the freezing waters of Tauranga Harbour and rescue the victim of a traffic accident last week.

Crisp was heading home about 6pm on August 12 last year when his vehicle veered right into the opposing lane and collided head-on with Mr Woledge's work van.

The van became airborne and went through the bridge railings, plunging into the harbour with Mr Woledge and Mr Donkersley still inside.

Mr Woledge was trapped inside the submerged van and died despite desperate efforts to rescue him.

Constable Deane O'Connor leaped off the bridge into the harbour and helped rescue Mr Donkersley who managed to force open the passenger door.

After crashing into Mr Woledge's work van, Crisp's vehicle spun and ended up facing the vehicle travelling behind and the other driver could not avoid a head-on collision.

Crisp, employed as a bus driver at the time of the crash, had to be cut free from his vehicle.

The police summary of facts also revealed that as well as consuming cannabis in the 12 days before the crash, he had on four occasions driven in excess of his maximum allowed hours.

Crisp also falsified his logbook by recording his finishing time that day as 8.30pm - two-and-a-half hours after the crash.

When police searched his vehicle they found a total of 17.3g of cannabis and utensils used to smoke it.

Also found was a plastic bag containing 54 cannabis seeds.

A blood sample from Crisp revealed that within three hours prior to the sample being taken at 8.34pm on the day of the crash, he had consumed the equivalent of a single cannabis cigarette.

Crisp told police he had no recollection of going on to the bridge or the crash.