Discharges without convictions may be sought for a young Havelock North man who on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of careless use of a motor vehicle causing death and injury in a workers' van crash on the Napier-Taupō highway 13 months ago.
Nicholas Timothy Yorke was 19 when the crash happened as he turned the van he was driving to cross the highway at Tawera and the vehicle was struck by a truck towing two wine tanker-trailers, as both vehicles were headed towards Taupō on the morning of October 19 last year.
The van was one of three carrying 10 Thornhill Horticultural Contracting Ltd Samoan RSE workers for a holiday break in Taupō.
All were known to Yorke, and one passenger, Tino Tagiilima, died at the scene. Yorke and the other passengers were all flown to hospital, several, including Yorke, with serious injuries.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Reading a summary, Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker said the truck driver also received minor injuries as he tried to avoid a crash and the truck hit the van, crossed the highway and rolled down a small bank, part of the reserve area at the Tarawera Cafe.
Appearing before Judge Bridget Mackintosh in Napier District Court, Yorke, through counsel Nicola Graham, pleaded guilty to one charge of careless driving causing death and nine of careless driving causing injury.
Graham said the pleas were being made following the receipt and review of the police serious crash investigation report.
She said Yorke wanted to take part in a restorative process, and she also expected to lodge an application for discharge without conviction under Section 106 of the Sentencing Act, under which a judge can take into account all circumstances, including the impact a conviction might have on the defendant.
Yorke was at the time of the tragedy a fully qualified driver, with no previous convictions, and designated by the employer to drive the van on the trip.
The summary said three company vehicles left Hawke's Bay about 9.50am, with a designated first stop at Tarawera, just past the halfway point on State Highway 5.
Yorke was the third in the convoy, stopping briefly off the highway to the left, as the van drivers waited for oncoming traffic to pass. The crash happened moments later as Yorke drove across the road. The driver of the truck, also heading towards Taupo, was unable to avoid a collision.