Sentencing for a Singapore Airlines pilot who ran a stop sign during a Lord of the Rings road-trip and caused a car crash that seriously injured colleagues has been delayed while one of his workmates undergoes further medical procedures.
Benjamin Yonghao Wu, 32, has admitted two charges of reckless driving causing injury after a crash with a 4WD towing a horse float at the intersection of Weedons Ross Rd and Maddisons Rd, near Rolleston, south of Christchurch last Wednesday about 10.40am.
The Toyota rental car's occupants were a group of five Singapore Airlines crew members.
Singapore Airlines chief steward Chew Weng Wai was a backseat passenger and not wearing a seatbelt when Wu failed to notice a stop sign.
Wu managed to slow down to about 40-50km/h.
But he later told police he didn't want to make an abrupt stop, because it would've been "uncomfortable" for his passengers.
The driver towing the horse float, who had been travelling at 80km/h, braked heavily but was unable to avoid the collision.
Wai's side took the brunt of the impact and he had to be cut free of the wreck.
He suffered bleeding and swelling to the brain as well as significant internal bleeding, Christchurch District Court heard today. He is still being monitored in hospital and the court heard he was undergoing further procedures today.
Stewardess Vanessa Leonara Savio Coelho, seated in the middle of the back seat, also wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
She had to be cut free by rescuers and underwent surgery the following day for injuries that included a fractured arm and shattered pelvis as well as spleen and bladder injuries.
Ms Coelho has since been discharged from Christchurch Hospital.
Two other passengers were unhurt and have "returned home", police say.
Wu, of Singapore, pleaded guilty on Friday to two charges of reckless driving causing injury.
Sentencing was set down for 10am today but Judge Stephen O'Driscoll put it off until this afternoon for a victim impact report to be prepared.
Defence counsel Kerry Cook said Wu had made $15,000 available to the court to be offered as emotional harm compensation to be "split between the two [victims] as the court sees fit".
Singapore Airlines had flown both the victims' and pilot's families to New Zealand.
Mr Cook said the airline had been "particularly helpful in this whole incident" and been supportive of both the victims and Wu.
When the case was recalled at 2.15pm, the victim impact reports were still not completed.
Sentencing was put off until Friday morning to give police enough time to speak to the victims and produce statements for the judge to read before deciding what sentence to impose on Wu.
"My view of the matter is that I need a victim impact report and I'm not prepared to proceed without one," Judge O'Driscoll said.
Police have Wu's passport, and he was remanded on continued bail with the conditions to not drive a motor vehicle and not to travel outside Christchurch.
A Singapore Airlines spokeswoman said last week: "Our immediate concern is for the welfare of our staff and we shall accord them and their families the highest standard of care and assistance, which is practicable."