The father of a man struck and killed by a truck driver in Napier says he has no hard feelings towards the man behind the wheel.
Ben Den Ouden, 30, died on April 21 last year after he was hit by a truck driven by Jason Albert Collier.
Collier, 42, appeared in the Napier District Court yesterday after pleading guilty in March to careless driving causing death.
The truck driver had stopped at a red light at the intersection of Kennedy Rd and Georges Drive, turning left when the light went green.
Den Ouden had also stopped at the intersection, intending to ride straight ahead, and went under the truck.
He suffered numerous injuries and died at the scene.
Yesterday Collier was supported in court by a contingent of family members. Den Ouden's parents hugged him before his sentencing.
His defence lawyer, Cam Robertson, said Collier was remorseful and the serious crash unit report into the death had considerably reduced his culpability.
"The defendant's remorse is genuine and the experience has affected him deeply."
Judge Tony Adeane said such cases were often difficult as minor driving faults could have "consequences out of all proportion to the blame of an innocent driver".
The court heard Collier drove home to Rotorua after hitting Den Ouden and later told police he felt a bump but thought he had run over a road cone or pot hole.
The judge said Collier's case was at the lower end of the scale of carelessness and the penalty should reflect this.
"None of the parties see the court as having any major role to play in concluding this matter and I agree with that. The court should place a very light hand on the matter indeed."
He ordered Collier to pay reparation totalling $1500 and did not disqualify him.
After the sentencing, Den Ouden's father, Bob Stansbury, said he was pleased with the outcome and would use the money to fund educational guidelines for cyclists and drivers.
Den Ouden had only been back in the country for two weeks, having travelled the world for nearly a decade, when he set off from his father's Napier home for a bike ride at dusk.
Stansbury said he came across his son's crash when he went out to check on him.
"I drove around the streets and couldn't find him. I hooked onto Kennedy Rd and my heart dropped when I saw ahead of me the red and blue flashing lights of the police barricade.
"As I got up to the intersection I could see through the barricade and as I got up to the intersection I had to stop myself. I could see a munted bicycle and by then I was starting to fear the worst."
He said the crash was "the perfect storm". Den Ouden was wearing dark clothes and had no bike lights. Stansbury didn't hold anything against Collier.
"I just didn't feel that it was right that Jason ended up carrying the complete and utter [blame] for the thing. It's a thing that's now attached to the rest of his life. He'll always have that when he goes for a job."
Stansbury said he remembered his son for his "lively, energetic and questioning mind".
"He was a good lad. He was a bloody good lad. The best thing in my life was the relationship I had with Ben. Benny and I were bloody close."
He recalled holding "Benny" in the first few hours of his life and spending his younger years with him as a stay-at-home dad.
"I did things like playcentre when he was 11 months old as the only bloke there and I took him swimming when he was 3 months old."
Ben's mother Hester Den Ouden said the restorative justice had been "awfully cathartic".
"Bob gets to work with Jason on a booklet and I get to work with Jason on a letter. It strikes me that suits our capabilities and it means that we carry on with Jason who's got brilliant ideas about how to improve things for that blind side for truckies."
Den Ouden had just finished a Masters degree in religious anthropology in the Netherlands and was planning to one day become a teacher, he said.
He had lived as a Hare Krishna for five years and was passionate about heavy metal music.
"You wouldn't believe the tributes we got from his peers and professors. They held a wake for him over there [Netherlands] and the tributes that have come from people are unbelievable.
"His sense of humour came out often and he'd help anybody. He was the 'vegan guide' of the town because he knew where to find things when new people came along."
Careless driving causing death carries a maximum penalty of three months' imprisonment or a $4500 fine.