A driver whose car plunged five floors from a central Auckland car park last year accidentally hit the accelerator, a court has heard.

Simon Hartnoll, 39, appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning charged with careless driving causing injury.

The judge-alone trial is set to run for two days.

Hartnoll and a female companion, 30, were in his car on the fifth floor of a Tournament car parking building on Newmarket's York St in March 2016, the court heard.


The pair had recently had dinner and planned to go ten pin bowling.

The court heard today that Hartnoll had parked his car and applied the handbrake, but had not put his car in park.

While leaning over while inside the car, he hit the accelerator pedal, causing the car to lurch forward and through a barrier, plunging to the street below.

The car hit a parked Nissan below, narrowly missing two women who were inside it at the time.

A police witness told the court the car being left in drive was the primary cause of the crash.

Alcohol was not a factor.

The integrity of the parking building's barrier complied with building standards at the time it was built.

It would not comply with current building standards, but was not legally required to, the police witness said.


Hartnoll suffered spinal injuries as well as clavicle and rib fractures.

The woman in his car suffered serious head injuries and injuries to her face.

Charges were laid against Hartnoll in December.

The trial continues.