A tourist driver who ran a stop sign and caused a crash that killed her father in Canterbury last month was holidaying in New Zealand to try and recover from depression caused by the death of her partner in a motorbike crash.
Taiwanese visitor Chia-Fang Chu, 39, was driving with six family members in a rented people mover when she ran a stop sign controlled intersection of Jones Rd and Dawsons Rd in Templeton, south of Christchurch, on February 18.
Her father Fu-Hwa Ju died in the smash and her mother Mei-Yu Chu Yeh was badly injured.
Chu, a teacher, appeared at Christchurch District Court today to plead guilty to charges of careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury.
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Defence counsel Josh Lucas said the police summary of facts was accepted by Chu, who was assisted in court by a Taiwanese interpreter.
Police said that Chu, her mother, father, her two children, her cousin, and her child, had been travelling through New Zealand as tourists since February 2. On February 18, she had driven from Lake Tekapo, stopping briefly at Rakaia for a rest.
They were heading to Christchurch airport, where they were to board a flight to Auckland later that day and then fly back to Taiwan.
About 11.20am, Chu turned off State Highway 1 on to Dawsons Rd near Templeton, while following GPS instructions to get to the airport.
Chu crossed a railway but failed to stop at a stop sign at Dawson Rd and drove into the path of a 4WD vehicle driving along Jones Rd and coming from her right.
The 4WD hit the right rear of her vehicle, forcing them both off the road.
Chu's father was sitting at the right rear.
Emergency services arrived soon after and worked on him but he died at the scene,.
Her mother was sitting at the left rear and received multiple rib injuries, a small pneumothorax, laceration to the liver and a fractured scapular.
The four other occupants were uninjured.
The sole occupant of the 4WD was also uninjured, bar bruising from her seatbelt.
When interviewed by police, Chu admitted the crash was her fault.
"She said she did not see the stop sign and didn't stop," the police summary of facts said.
Mr Lucas said that her father had suggested they holiday in New Zealand so that Chu could recover from depression brought on by the death of her partner who died in a motorcycle crash.
He said the accident had been a "momentary lapse of attention" and had been a mistake that could've been made by any nationality, including by New Zealanders.
Judge Tony Couch remanded Chu on bail until Friday for a restorative justice conference to be considered.
She made no comment as she left court today.