The man at the wheel of a people mover that struck a horse being ridden by TV reporter Karen Rutherford - severely injuring her - says he did everything he could to avoid a collision.

Peng Wang is defending a charge of careless driving causing injury to the Newshub journalist last August.

The 28-year-old Chinese national gave evidence through a translator at the second day of a trial before Judge Jonathan Down in the North Shore District Court today.

Peng Wang in the North Shore District Court this month. Photo / Michael Craig
Peng Wang in the North Shore District Court this month. Photo / Michael Craig

Rutherford and her 13-year-old daughter Ella were riding on Postman Rd in Dairy Flat, north of Auckland, when a vehicle hit her horse, Curious George, throwing the journalist into the ditch.

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The 44-year-old's leg catapulted into her head, the force of which tore the skin and tissue away from the muscle, almost ripping off her leg.

Her injuries were so severe a surgeon could put his whole hand in her leg, which was broken in multiple places, as well as bones in her feet and toes.

On the first day of the trial, which took place earlier this month, Rutherford told the court
she remembered thinking the driver was "hell bent" of hitting her and Ella. The driver was "absolutely booting it" and hugging the white line on the side of the road.

The pair were clad in high-vis vests and facing oncoming traffic because it was the safest side of the road due to a sharp bend in the 80km/h area.

But Wang said in court today he slowed down to 45km/h and moved so his right wheel was on the centre line - as far to the right as he felt safe driving because another vehicle was coming in the opposite direction.

"I tried my best to give room to them."

Both horses and their riders were on the centre-line side of the white line on the side of the road. Immediately off the road was a ditch.

The collision occurred on Postman Rd in Dairy Flat, north of Auckland. Photo / Google Maps
The collision occurred on Postman Rd in Dairy Flat, north of Auckland. Photo / Google Maps

He passed Ella - who Rutherford said had yelled and waved her arm warning Wang to slow down and move over - and her horse first. The teen earlier told the court she felt the vehicle brush her whip.

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However, Wang said he did not see Ella waving and denied brushing past her horse.

He gave the same amount of space - about 50cm - to Rutherford's horse, but it turned and reared up into the people mover, causing damage to the left side, Wang said.

"It wasn't me that crashed into it. It turned and hit my car."

Earlier, Wang told police prosecutor Mark Hagan he had not studied the New Zealand road rules before driving in New Zealand, instead taking advice from New Zealand-based friends on driving in this country.

He agreed that was irresponsible.

Wang's passenger, Albany man Linshu Li, also gave evidence that Wang had passed the horses at a speed of 45km/h and a gap of about 50cm, but that Rutherford's horse turned into the people mover.

He based the speed they were travelling on his own experience as a driver and passenger, and said he knew they were hugging the centre line because he could "feel it", he told the court.

However, Hagan said there were no cats eyes or rumble lines on the centre of the road.

Hagan and defence counsel Tiffany Cooper will make their closing remarks in the judge-alone trial this afternoon.