Tired drivers may have nodded off says coroner

Sophie Spear

A University student died after most likely falling asleep at the wheel, an inquest into her death has found.

Rhya Macready, 18, of Paraparaumu, died instantly when she crashed in the King Country on July 10 last year......

Reproduced courtesy of the Dominion Post

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Tiredness blamed

A Lower Hutt man who died after his car veered off Karaka Bay Rd probably fell asleep at the wheel, a coroner has found. Robin Dennis Sayster, 26, lost control of his Toyota MR2 just after 7 am on March 13 last year.

In his decision, Wellington coroner Ian Smith said Mr Sayster had a blood-alchohol level of 127mg- the legel limit is 80mg- and it was likely tiredness, combined with alcohol, led to him falling asleep at the wheel......

Reproduced courtesy of the Dominion Post

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Top cop badly hurt in horror crash

A senior Western Bay of Plenty police officer has been seriously hurt in a horror smash noth of Te Puke this morning and a motorcyclist has died following a crash at Mount Maunganui yesterday.

Te Puke police Senior Sergeant Deirdre Lack was rushed to Tauranga Hospital after a head-on collision on State Highway 2, about 1km from Manoeka Rd, about 4.45am.....

“Reproduced courtesy of the The New Zealand Herald"

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Crash victim asks judge not to jail sleepy driver


A Karori mother sentenced to a life of pain when a sleepy driver ploughed into her car has asked a judge not to send the man to jail.

"Closure" came for Suz Bassett yesterday, a year after a driver travelling at 100kmh on State Highway 1 near Hunterville fell asleep, crossed the centre line and collided with her head-on.

Her spine cracked and her spleen ruptured, her skull fractured in three places and her knee was shattered.

Doctors gave her a 5 per cent chance of survival and now predict she will suffer chronic pain for the rest of her life.

The driver, Tevita Drotakileqaimakoi Tokalauvere, 25, was sentenced to complete 400 hours' community work, pay $10,000 reparation at $20 a week and disqualified from driving for a year at Upper Hutt District Court yesterday.

Ms Bassett asked Judge Susan Thomas to spare him from jail because it would be too harsh.

She said afterwards: "They told me that he was young and had the rest of his life ahead of him and ... I didn't know if [jail] would serve a useful purpose ... The police prosecutor said he didn't intend to fall asleep. That wasn't his intention to harm me."

Ms Bassett had to give up her job as an ecologist, in which she would tramp for hours to monitor kiwi eggs, and spend months in hospital in intensive care and rehabilitation......

Fairfax New Zealand

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Teenager charged after horror smash

Police have charged a teenager with dangerous driving causing death after a van crash which left 11 of his friends strewn across the road.

Aaron Gourlay, 18, faces one charge of dangerous driving causing death and 10 charges of dangerous driving causing injury. He will appear in the Rotorua District Court on January 10.

The van, carrying 12 teenagers, was travelling north on State Highway 5 at Tumunui, just south of Rotorua, on July 17 when it crossed the centreline and collided into a bank before rolling back on to the road.

All of the group were thrown from the van. Jesse Howe, 17, died 22 days later.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager, Inspector Kevin Taylor, said it was a "devastating" crash that had an immediate and wide impact on the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty communities, and around New Zealand......

© Fairfax NZ News

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