TAUPO delivery driver had been working 21 days without a break, sometimes on double shifts, on the day he drove into two cyclists, killing a woman and injuring her husband.
The driver was also short sighted, and had forgotten to take his prescription glasses with him as he left for work in the morning because he 'was in a dream'.
In Taupo District Court yesterday, Zane Gregory Homann, 32, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of Hillary Haward, 57, in Taupo on March 3.
Homann, a bakery delivery driver, also admitted careless driving causing injury to her husband, Brinley.
The court was told the Hawards were cycling up Spa Rd toward their campsite at the Top 10 Holiday Park on Centennial Rd when they were struck from behind by Homann’s 2.5 tonne delivery van. The couple were returning from watching the start of the Ironman New Zealand triathlon on the lakefront. Mrs Haward died at the scene from spine and chest injuries. Her husband was thrown nearly 13 metres from his bike and suffered nerve damage to his shoulder and cuts and bruises. The police crash investigation had found Homann was short-sighted and should have been wearing his prescription glasses for driving. He had left them at home, however, when he went to work at 5.30am on the day of the crash. Homann had told police that he had forgotten the glasses because he “was in a dream” when he walked out the door. Work records showed that leading up to the crash Homann had worked 21 days without a day off. His normal working day started at 6am and finished in the early afternoon. But on Fridays he would work an extra shift, returning to work at 9pm and finishing at 1am. The day before the crash he worked a double shift of 13 ½ hours in total, finishing at 1am before getting up the next morning to start work again at 5.30am. Less than four hours later Homann’s van crashed into the two cyclists.
Police found no mechanical faults with the van but believed three objects – a GPS device, a digital clock and a stuffed toy on the windscreen – may have restricted Homann’s view of the cyclists as he approached them at less than 50km/h. Mr Haward, who was not in court, has rejected an offer of a restorative justice meeting with Homann.
Judge Chris McGuire remanded Homann on bail for sentencing on August 30.
©Reproduced courtesy of the Dominion Post