Black ice ‘hotspots’ take toll on drivers
Crashes on black ice
As we wait for forecast snow, black ice has struck the region with several crashes in the Arthurs Point area, near Queenstown, yesterday and more crashes in the Cardrona and Crown Range area in the last week. The Queenstown Lakes District Council issued a warning to take extreme care, particularly in the Gibbston and Arthurs Point areas yesterday morning. A pizza delivery driver skidded on Edinburgh Drive last Monday in the icy and gritcovered conditions (pictured). He hit the kerb, then a large rock, rolling his car and sustaining minor injuries. Sign up to receive the council’s daily road reports at: qldc.govt.nz.
Teen recovering in hospital
A Glenorchy teenager remains in Dunedin Hospital in a stable condition after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a rifle and lodging a bullet in his brain. Sergeant Steve Watts, of Queenstown, said the 16-year-old boy had found a loaded firearm at his house on Thursday evening. Watts said it was uncertain whether the firearm was an air rifle or a .22 rifle. The boy, who was at home with his father at the time, was transported to hospital by helicopter in a serious condition. A hospital spokesman said the boy was in a stable condition in a general ward on Sunday. Investigations into the accidental shooting were continuing.
Search for offender
Wanaka police are looking for a man who kick-hit another man in Wanaka early on Sunday morning, knocking the victim unconscious and breaking his nose. Senior Constable Ian Henderson, of Wanaka, said police were looking for a man described as being solid build, about 6ft five with a beard and moustache. The incident took place on the corner of Helwick and Brownston streets about 2am. Anyone with information on the assault was urged to contact Wanaka police.
Facebook row gets nasty
A Wanaka man appeared in the Queenstown District Court yesterday after a Facebook exchange spiralled out of control.
Trevor David Riddell, 38, a labourer, was charged with threatening to kill two people in Invercargill on June 12.
Sergeant Ian Collin said an argument started on Facebook while Riddell was at home in Wanaka and the victims were in Invercargill. The content of the argument was not discussed in court.
Collin said the argument turned abusive and Riddell called police to say he believed another party was heading to his house in Wanaka. He said he was going to shoot the other party in the face and knees, he had loaded firearms and the other party was ‘‘going to die’’. A police communications call-taker spent six minutes on the phone with Riddell as he allegedly yelled and verbally abused Wanaka police. He said he had an SKS, a semi-automatic rifle, and was going into town to do some damage, the court was told.
Judge Michael Turner remanded Riddell on bail for sentence on September 8, and called for alcohol and drug reports.
Queenstown District Court news:
An Albert Town teenager exposed to gang violence and drugs from an early age was sentenced to community detention and supervision for attacking a tourist.
Beaudine Wira, 17, appeared before Judge Michael Turner for injuring with intent on January 9. He was sentenced to three months’ community detention with a weekend curfew, 100 hours’ community work and nine months’ supervision.
Wira punched a Dutch tourist in the head after others attacked the victim when a drug deal went awry. Other attackers stomped on the victim, punched him in the head and kicked him round the head and body.
Crown prosecutor Michael Morris said that in his victim impact statement, the tourist said he believed he was going to die.
Judge Turner said he was persuaded to give Wira a chance and he noted the support from the community, his return to school and emerging maturity.
The attack was ‘‘straight-out street thuggery’’ but Wira had turned his life around.
Lawyer Peter Redpath said his client was the victim of a depraved background and was exposed to a gang lifestyle, drugs and violence from an early age.