A woman who killed two people and left a third permanently injured has written to her only surviving victim lamenting how quickly time passes in prison, which is "like a girls' dormitory".

Nicole Reynolds was sentenced to just three years and six months last year after the Tauranga crash. She had been driving on methadone and two unprescribed anti-anxiety pills.

Her sentence was reduced because of an early guilty plea and a willingness to participate in a restorative justice programme, where she agreed to write one letter a month to Lance Carter.

But Carter says he has only ever received one letter and says she only sent it because she's nearly eligible for parole.

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The letter is not the grovelling apology one would expect, after taking the lives of the two people closest to Carter, his best mate Kenny McCrae, 52, and the love of his life, Leigh Rhodes, 60.

Instead, Reynolds, aged in her 40s, tells him she "can't believe how quickly time goes by - for me, anyway".

Leigh Rhodes and Lance Carter. Carter still struggles waking up in an empty bed without the love of his life. Photo / Supplied
Leigh Rhodes and Lance Carter. Carter still struggles waking up in an empty bed without the love of his life. Photo / Supplied

She says her prison "looks more like a girls' camp than a prison", and tells Lance, who was left with crushed organs, a traumatic brain injury, and permanent injury, about her barista qualification.

Reynolds tells the man, who lost the love of his life to her driving: "I miss my children immensely but fortunately they visit frequently".

While she does say that she thinks about "what happened, how it happened and why it happened" daily, and dreams about it "quite often", she does not offer up an apology at any point in the three-page letter.

She signs off by telling the 67-year-old to "please take care and look after yourself".

Lance Carter lost the love of his life Leigh Rhodes and best friend Kenny McCrae. Photo / Andrew Warner
Lance Carter lost the love of his life Leigh Rhodes and best friend Kenny McCrae. Photo / Andrew Warner

Carter told Daily Mail Australia he is still fuming over what he says is a light sentence, and says the judge, Thomas Ingram, went too soft on the woman who ripped away his livelihood, his ability to move with ease, his best mate and the love of his life.

"She was sentenced to three and a half years for killing two people and just about a third," he said.

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"Judges in this country need to have a reality check. They should have to go back and [be the ones to] hose the bodies off the road."

The families of the two people killed by Nicole Reynolds in a motor accident: Donna Barrett, left, Gavin Emeny, Sharlene McCrae and Lance Carter. Photo / Andrew Warner
The families of the two people killed by Nicole Reynolds in a motor accident: Donna Barrett, left, Gavin Emeny, Sharlene McCrae and Lance Carter. Photo / Andrew Warner

As for Reynolds herself, Carter said she had showed no real remorse, adding insult to literal injury.

He said her participation in the restorative justice programme was an "absolute joke", and claimed the woman was dismissive of her crime during a meeting between them.

"There was no remorse whatsoever [during the meeting]. She didn't say anything, she didn't say boo," he said.

As for the letter, he says it's nothing but "a p*** take".

Carter had been recovering from a bowel cancer operation when he got a call from his partner, Leigh, who had burst a tyre on a busy highway in Tauranga on July 29, 2016.

He recruited his close friend and neighbour Kenny McCrae to come along and help, as he was afraid of popping a stitch.

MvcCrae and Carter had managed to take the wheel off of the car and were preparing to install the spare tyre, as Carter's partner, Leigh Rhodes, used a white tyre flap to direct traffic.

Reynolds, who was at the time under the influence of methadone, and two unprescribed anxiety pills, lorazepam and clonazepam, was driving towards the group, and did not see them.

McCrae was killed instantly, and Rhodes died a short time later in hospital.

Witnesses told police Reynolds had been swerving within her lane, and was clearly intoxicated by something.

The woman later told police she didn't even know she'd hit anyone until her windscreen smashed. She also told them she had been on the methadone programme.

Kenny McCrae was killed in the crash in July 2016. Photo / Supplied
Kenny McCrae was killed in the crash in July 2016. Photo / Supplied

Carter, who woke up for the first time after the accident and a second time in hospital, says the battles of physical recovery and mental recovery had been completely different.

He said he did not fully understand all he had lost until he returned to his house for the first time after the accident.

"When you're in hospital, you're fighting for your own survival - you've got a cliff in front of you that you've got to take little steps up," he said.

"But when you get home it's a whole different ball game, because nobody's there."

Lance Carter suffered extensive damage to his ankle and struggles to walk.
Lance Carter suffered extensive damage to his ankle and struggles to walk.

Carter has benefited from extensive care and equipment to ease his transition back home, but says he struggles with the gravity of the situation in the early hours of the morning, when he wakes up alone in bed, without Rhodes.

"That's the side that nobody sees, only you. You have your moments," he said.

"You never forget, it's always there, but it will get easier."

He says he won't be able to return to work, which has left him struggling financially, and will "never be able to walk properly again".

"I wobble, I don't walk, and there's no such thing as a run," he said.

"She's taken all of that away from me."

Sharlene McCrae,the widow of Kenny McCrae who was killed in the horror July 2016 crash. Photo / NZME
Sharlene McCrae,the widow of Kenny McCrae who was killed in the horror July 2016 crash. Photo / NZME

Sharlene McCrae, Kenny's widow, is doing well, Carter says, but the pain of what they have lost will never leave either of them.

"We have to live with this all our lives," he said. "She doesn't. She lives with it for 15 months and moves on, goes and does it again.

"I'm sure she'll do it again."

Lance said he was appalled to learn people taking part in the methadone programme were able to retain their licences, and said it simply wasn't safe.

"[The programme] absolutely needs to change," he said.

"If they're on that programme and they want it, you don't get a licence. Catch the bus, do what you gotta do."

"They all say it's a failing programme. Just can it, forget it. It's taxpayer money that's funding it."