Chunk of steel flies through windscreen
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.