Chunk of steel flies through wind­screen

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Queen­stown po­lice con­sta­ble Terry Erceg hold­ing the piece of metal that flew from a truck trailer through the wind­screen of Cromwell’s Casey Booth on Satur­day.

Near miss ‘eerily sim­i­lar’ to Lake Hawea death

The great-un­cle of Rut­ger Hale, killed by amys­tery ob­ject near Lake Hawea six months ago, said the eerily sim­i­lar in­ci­dent near Queen­stown on Satur­day brought mem­o­ries of his nephew’s death flood­ing back.

Casey Booth, 19, of Cromwell, was driv­ing to­wards Queen­stown on the Lower Shotover Bridge with a fe­male pas­sen­ger about 2pm when he saw a large ob­ject fly out of the back of a truck-and­trailer unit, which had pulled out from Tucker Beach Rd on to State High­way 6 head­ing to­wards Cromwell. A 4 kilo­gram chunk of steel smashed through his wind­screen, graz­ing his lit­tle fin­ger, and wedged into the roof of his car, bend­ing a strut brace.

On Oc­to­ber 24, Hale, 22, was killed as he was driv­ing with his girl­friend Danielle Oylear on State High­way 6 be­tween Lake Hawea and Wanaka at 6.25am af­ter a mys­tery ob­ject smashed through his wind­screen, hit­ting him in the head, and then smashed out through the rear win­dow.

Ex­ten­sive po­lice searches failed to find the ob­ject but tests on frag­ments of the car found the ob­ject was made of, or con­tained, frag­ments of stain­less steel.

His great-un­cle Pete Phillips said on Mon­day ‘‘it’s glar­ingly too sim­i­lar’’.

‘‘They dodged a bul­let. I just can’t be­lieve it. I just felt sick. That kid was lucky. Ru­tie wasn’t . . . It’s hu­man er­ror. It’s all it is. We all make mis­takes. We might think a load is se­cured prop­erly but it’s not,’’ he said.

Vi­o­lent at­tack

A 34-year-old man who vi­o­lently at­tacked two cou­ples af­ter the Gibb­ston sum­mer con­cert af­ter smok­ing a syn­thetic drug has been sen­tenced to 12 months’ home de­ten­tion.

Si­mon John Win­dle, 34, line­man, of Gore, kept his head bowed dur­ing his sen­tenc­ing in the Queen­stown District Court on Mon­day be­fore Judge Michael Turner for in­jur­ing with in­tent to in­jure, two charges of as­sault with the in­tent to in­jure and as­sault on Fe­bru­ary 15.

The judge con­verted a sen­tence of two years’ jail to home de­ten­tion and or­dered Win­dle to pay $10,000 in emo­tional harm pay­ments.

The first cou­ple, aged 69 and 70, were trav­el­ling home tow­ing a trailer when they stopped to se­cure the load. Win­dle started punch­ing the man in the face and head, then punched the man’s wife in the face af­ter she told him to stop. He then as­saulted an­other cou­ple, in their 50s, walk­ing to their car and a woman re­quired a ti­ta­nium plate in­serted in her face af­ter the at­tack.

Win­dle told po­lice he had no mem­ory of the as­saults af­ter the con­cert and the last thing he re­mem­bered was smok­ing cannabis then wak­ing up in the back of a po­lice van. How­ever, the judge said a psy­chi­a­trist said Win­dle’s be­hav­iour was more aligned with some­one af­fected by smok­ing a syn­thetic drug rather than nat­u­ral cannabis or drink­ing al­co­hol. That be­hav­iour in­cluded sud­den out­bursts while at the po­lice sta­tion and re­li­gious ram­bling.

Prob­lem gam­bler sen­tenced

Ni­cole Healy, 39, ad­min­is­tra­tion clerk, of Kingston, was sen­tenced to four months’ home de­ten­tion af­ter steal­ing more than $21,000 from her em­ployer.

She was con­victed of ac­cess­ing a West­pac on­line ac­count and busi­ness ac­count dis­hon­estly, three charges of us­ing a credit card to com­mit theft and us­ing a BNZ busi­ness ac­count to com­mit theft be­tween Novem­ber and March.

Healy be­gan steal­ing from Queen­stown busi­ness­man James MacAlis­ter af­ter she be­gan work­ing for him and used the funds to gam­ble on­line.

She was or­dered to pay $11,411.88 repa­ra­tion to her em­ployer, $10,667.80 repa­ra­tion to the bank, at­tend a gam­bling pro­gramme and was also sen­tenced to 120 hours’ com­mu­nity work.

Fraud

Riria Jade Tatana, 33, baker, of Wanaka, re­manded un­til June 16 for sen­tenc­ing for us­ing a forged driver’s li­cence be­tween Novem­ber 1 and Jan­uary 22 and theft of a cell­phone val­ued at $899 on July 15. Tatana’s of­fend­ing came to light when she lost the li­cence and it was handed in to po­lice, where it was found to be a fake.

In­ten­tional dam­age

Ethan James Hamil­ton, 20, cleaner, sen­tenced to 50 hours’ com­mu­nity work, six months’ su­per­vi­sion and or­dered to pay $471.50 repa­ra­tion for in­ten­tion­ally dam­ag­ing a taxi on April 26. Hamil­ton head-butted the bon­net of the car twice and caused a dent.

Drink-driv­ing

David John Waller, 22, op­er­a­tor, fined $850 and disqual­i­fied from driv­ing for nine months for driv­ing with a breath al­co­hol level of 649mcg and caus­ing sus­tained loss of trac­tion on March 2. Waller had been seen by a mem­ber of the pub­lic do­ing burnouts at 2am in a res­i­den­tial area of Queen­stown. The judge said Waller could ap­ply for a zero-al­co­hol li­cence af­ter the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­riod fin­ished.

Maxime Fabrice Car­los Drolez, 25, 594mcg on March 19. Fined $650 and disqual­i­fied for six months. The judge or­dered the fine be paid within three days.

Scott Cyril Jenk­ins, 27, bar­tender, 634mcg on April 28. Fined $630 and disqual­i­fied for six months.

Corey James Mace, 18, store­man , 396mcg (un­der 20) on April 14. Fined $390 and disqual­i­fied for three months.

Duck shoot­ing

A duck shooter is nurs­ing mi­nor gun­shot wounds to his back­side and leg in­flicted while hunt­ing with friends.

Queen­stown Po­lice act­ing sergeant Feleki Uhrle said the man was with three friends at Par­adise Val­ley in Glenorchy on Satur­day when the in­ci­dent hap­pened.

‘‘He claims some pel­lets ric­o­cheted off some­thing and hit him.’’

St John Am­bu­lance spokesman Ian Hen­der­son said they were alerted at 6.05pm to the in­ci­dent, and an am­bu­lance was sent to the Glenorchy Ho­tel.

‘‘I don’t know if this is where the in­ci­dent had hap­pened or not, how­ever this is where the pa­tient was lo­cated.’’

The man, in his 40s, had mi­nor wounds, he said.

‘‘From what I can tell, the in­ci­dent had hap­pened ear­lier in the day. The pa­tient was as­sessed at the scene, but we didn’t trans­port him any­where as his in­juries were mi­nor.’’

Queen­stown po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Lucky Es­cape

Two English­men who crashed through a bridge bar­rier and ca­reened into a 30 me­tre ravine were very lucky to es­cape with­out se­ri­ous in­juries, po­lice say.

The men, who are both liv­ing in Queen­stown lost con­trol of a Toy­ota High­lander, failed to take a bend on the south­ern ap­proach to the Wye Creek bridge in the early hours of Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Si­mon Win­dle

Rut­ger Hale

Ni­cole Healy

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