Hares take the blame
When three hares dashed out on the road in front of Rashpinder Mundi, he suddenly yanked the handbrake of the car he was driving, sending it hurtling out of control, through a fence and into a paddock.
A contributing factor to this spur-of-the moment decision was that he had been drinking heavily the night before, and had followed this with two more beers before getting behind the wheel.
When later tested, he returned a reading of 112 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood – well above the legal limit of 50mg.
One of the passengers in the car was injured in the crash, subsequently had to undergo surgery, and spent the next two weeks in hospital.
Mundi, 24, appeared for sentencing before Judge Glen Marshall in the Hamilton District Court recently, on one charge of causing injury by driving with excess blood alcohol, laid in relation to the crash in Putaruru in August last year.
Mundi’s counsel Rhianna Laybourn said her client, who is an Indian national employed on a South Waikato dairy farm on a working visa, was an inexperienced driver not used to traversing New Zealand’s rural roads.
He had been given the Saturday off work and had consumed an estimated 10 to 12 beers on the preceding Friday night. He had followed this up with two more beers on the Saturday, before heading out to get takeaways with two friends in the mistaken belief he was okay to drive.
At 11.30am Mundi was driving on Arapuni Rd near Putaruru when he spotted three large hares on the side of the road ahead, Laybourn said.
He slowed down, but they darted out onto the road. Mundi veered to the left and attempted to slow further down in a bid to avoid driving over the drove of hares. With the footbrake appearing ineffective he pulled on the handbrake, sending the car off the road.
The injured passenger suffered lacerations to his liver and kidneys which required an operation to fix.
Marshall sentenced Mundi to 125 hours’ community work, disqualified him from driving for one year and one day. He also ordered him to pay $109.25 in analysts fees as well as $1000 in reparation to the injured man and $245 to the farmer with the damaged fence.
A run-in with a hare landed one South Waikato farmer in the Hamilton District Court.