A man who drove into and seriously injured a road worker near Turakina in April appeared in Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

Reuben Lindsay Hill had pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing injury and failing to stop to ascertain injury during a court appearance in July.

The female road worker suffered serious injuries in the April 29 incident. She was in hospital for 11 days and needed three surgeries.

She was hit while placing road cones in a 30kph area. Hill was travelling faster than that, and later said he had fallen asleep at the wheel.


He was stopped by police shortly afterward, and told them he thought he had only hit road cones.

Due to appear for sentencing on the two charges on September 26, he failed to show up and went to Whanganui Police Station voluntarily the next day. He was arrested and was in prison until his appearance on Tuesday.

A restorative justice session with the victim was thought possible, until the injured woman's 15-page victim impact report arrived. Restorative justice is now not possible.

Hill faces three other, unrelated, charges. One of dangerous driving is disputed, his counsel Anna Brosnahan said. The others are burglarly, for the theft of wool from a woolshed, and unlawfully possessing or carrying a firearm.

On Tuesday District Court Judge David Cameron granted Hill bail, despite opposition from police prosecutor Stephen Butler who said he had failed to appear for court twice.

He is to be sentenced on the charges relating to the April 29 incident on December 21. Home detention or community detention are both possible outcomes, and Judge Cameron has asked for reports on those possibilities.

Hill's lawyer, Anna Brosnahan, said the April incident was serious but Hill had a very limited criminal and traffic history. The two offences were not severe enough to merit a prison sentence, in her submission.

"There's a lot of background information to this person that will come out at sentencing," she said.