A crash which killed an 8-year-old on the Hawke's Bay Expressway happened after his mother took her eye off the road to check Google maps on her cellphone while driving to Bay View, Napier District Court was told today.

The tragic lapse was revealed after Kim Crous, 38, pleaded guilty to one charge of careless driving causing death and two of careless driving causing injury.

The crash occurred when the car she was driving ploughed into a car at the tail of a queue at roadworks on the fine and sunny Thursday morning of April 21.

Her two children were belted in the rear seats. Eight-year-old James Crous, seated immediately behind her, broke his neck in the impact and died at the scene, police prosecutor Sergeant John Ashfield told Judge Bridget Mackintosh.


There were also a woman and two children in the other car, he said.

Mr Ashfield said Crous had left her home in Hastings a short while beforehand, logging a Bay View address into her phone.

As she came out of a roundabout, she took hold of her phone momentarily and by the time she looked up again it was too late to avoid the collision.

A queue had built up for over 300m because of roadworks around Pandora Bridge, reducing the Expressway flow to one lane.

Crous, whose pleas were entered on her behalf by counsel Scott Jefferson, was remanded to appear for sentence on January 24.