Aged 19 Aizaeah Kori-Lee Tarawa should have been behind the wheel with zero alcohol in his system.

But the teenager was found to be three times over the legal alcohol limit for adults when the car he was driving slammed into an oncoming vehicle killing a young mother and her baby girl.

Judge Greg Davis has released for the first time an agreed police summary of facts after Tarawa appeared in the Whangārei District Court last week.

The summary revealed Tarawa had two previous convictions for driving with an excess breath alcohol level. He was convicted in Kaitaia District Court on January 18, 2018, on two charges of driving with an excess breath alcohol after being arrested in August 2017, then again in September, 2017.

Advertisement

Fourteen months after those convictions Tarawa was driving a silver sedan that collided head-on with a northbound people mover on State Highway 1 near Oruawharo Rd in Topuni, on March 30 this year.

An hour and a half after the double fatal crash Tarawa was breath tested and recorded 768 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The alcohol limit for drivers 20 and over is 250mcg and for drivers under 20, the limit is zero.

Killed in the people mover were Kaiwaka mother Janiah Fairburn, 20, and her 2-year-old daughter, Azarliyah, while Fairburn's partner, Henare Hadfield, 20, suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. He needed an operation to his left knee.

Their 1-year-old son, Te Tairawhiti Hadfield, suffered a fractured neck and is still being treated for spinal injuries at Starship Children's Hospital and wearing a halo brace.
He has also received surgery but the injuries are likely to be lifelong.

Henare Hadfield who along with his family were hit by a drunk driver, he and his young son were seriously injured and his partner and daughter were killed. Photo/ File
Henare Hadfield who along with his family were hit by a drunk driver, he and his young son were seriously injured and his partner and daughter were killed. Photo/ File

The summary revealed Tarawa, with his 16-year-old sister as a passenger, was travelling south when he accelerated to about 110kmh, overtook a vehicle and crossed the centre line. At the same time the family in the people mover were travelling in the opposite direction. Neither of the drivers were able to avoid the crash.

Shortly after the crash a vehicle Tarawa's relatives drove through the scene.

Police said the vehicle drove around witnesses, including ambulance personnel who were treating the injured members of the Hadfield family. Tarawa left with his relations and the vehicle was stopped by officers on State Highway 1 near Albany about 10.10pm.

Tarawa was spoken to by police and breath tested. He told police at the time he was not the driver and could not remember anything of the crash as he had been asleep.

Advertisement
Sisters of the crash victim Janiah Fairburn, from left are Shekinah, Maia, Mina, Liza, Aua and Jaydah Fairburn outside the Otamatea Marae where the tangi for Janiah Fairburn was held. Photo/ File
Sisters of the crash victim Janiah Fairburn, from left are Shekinah, Maia, Mina, Liza, Aua and Jaydah Fairburn outside the Otamatea Marae where the tangi for Janiah Fairburn was held. Photo/ File

During the court hearing the charge of failing to remain and ascertain injury was withdrawn by police.

Tarawa will be sentenced on July 2 on two charges of driving with an excess breath alcohol level causing death and two charges of excess breath alcohol causing injury.