Tourist ad­mits caus­ing fa­tal crash

South Waikato News - - Your Health - LIBBY WIL­SON

A tourist driver who killed a Hamil­ton mo­torist had no ex­pla­na­tion as to why he crossed the cen­tre line and smashed into an on­com­ing car.

New Cale­do­nian Jeff Tau Viri­amu has pleaded guilty to one charge of care­less driv­ing caus­ing death and two charges of care­less driv­ing caus­ing in­jury.

The 43-year-old en­tered the pleas through lawyer Thomas Sut­cliffe in Hamil­ton District Court on Thurs­day.

The crash at Piarere, near Ti­rau, hap­pened on the evening of Au­gust 23 and killed Hamil­ton woman Alysia Jade Kelly.

Three other peo­ple were hos­pi­talised in­clud­ing Viri­amu.

He and his part­ner had vis­ited New Zealand sev­eral times be­fore and, on this oc­ca­sion, ar­rived in the coun­try on Au­gust 18, the sum­mary of facts read in court said.

Af­ter a few days with friends, they rented the Hyundai car at Auck­land Air­port about 1.15pm on the day of the crash ‘‘with the in­ten­tion of trav­el­ling to Taupo for the night’’.

At an ‘‘easy right-hand bend’’ in Piarere, the Hyundai crossed the cen­tre line and into the north­bound lane.

The Toy­ota driver moved as far left in his lane as he could, try­ing to avoid a col­li­sion, but a grass em­bank­ment stopped him mov­ing aside fur­ther.

‘‘The im­pact be­tween the two ve­hi­cles was front left to front left, with both pas­sen­gers tak­ing the brunt of the im­pact,’’ the sum­mary said.

Kelly was the Toy­ota pas­sen­ger, and she died at the scene.

Viri­amu’s part­ner was in the front seat of the Hyundai and suf­fered crush in­juries to her torso and a frac­tured leg, and re­mains in in­ten­sive care at Waikato Hospi­tal.

The Toy­ota driver had mul­ti­ple frac­tures to both arms and re­quired surgery.

Viri­amu had no ex­pla­na­tion for how he ended up on the wrong side of the road, the sum­mary said.

He had a New Cale­do­nian driver li­cence which al­lows him to drive in New Zealand.

Po­lice have the pass­ports of both Viri­amu and his part­ner.

Com­mu­nity mag­is­trate Ngaire Mas­celle re­manded Viri­amu on bail for sen­tenc­ing on Oc­to­ber 26.

She also directed a restora­tive jus­tice conference re­quest to go to the vic­tims.

The crash hap­pened on SH1 in Piarere.

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