The family of a Hawke's Bay pedestrian killed by a careless driver outside a Napier shopping centre say no punishment can fill the void left by his death.

Metallyca Shreedavina Taunoa, 24, of Napier struck and killed recently-retired business manager Brian Pritchard as he stepped out on to Maadi Rd on June 14.

Mid-winter sunstrike has been pinpointed as a key factor in his death, with Taunoa telling police afterwards the sun was in her eyes and she did not see him.

Taunoa had no previous convictions, and was travelling at a speed of 51km/h in a 50km/h area.


But at the time of the tragedy she was a learner driver who should not have been at the wheel without L plates or with supervision from a fully licensed driver.

Police said she had neither.

She pleaded guilty in November to a charge of careless or inconsiderate driving causing death.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of three months' jail and a fine up to $4500.

In Napier District Court on Tuesday, Judge Tony Adeane sentenced her to 18 months' intensive supervision, including specific driver training programmes, and disqualified her from driving for 12 months.

Pritchard, 72, was Pan-Pac's forestry and logistics manager and a former Hawke's Bay Sports Fishing Club chairman.

His stepdaughter Kelly Beals told Hawke's Bay Today in a statement after the sentencing: "Brian was a man of joy.

"Joy can be heard before you see it — the laughter, the music. Now there's silence. No amount of sentencing can fill that."


Onekawa businessman Andrew Spence said there had been numerous "near-misses" which could relate to sun-strike and other factors on Maadi Rd in the 19 years he'd been operating his pharmacy in the shopping centre, but he wasn't aware of any other incidents where pedestrians had been hit.

He agreed the sun-strike was a known hazard at specific times of the year - the crash occurred at 3.50pm - although it wasn't a case of a tragedy being inevitable.

He said it was worth thinking about what steps could be taken to minimise the risks, and it would be a "challenge" to find an effective solution.