A Wellington taxi driver has been found not guilty of driving carelessly after a collision that claimed the life of his unborn son.
Bililigne Gebretsadik, 41, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of careless driving, two of causing injury and one of careless driving causing the death of his unborn child in June last year. At 31 weeks' pregnant his wife Seble Cherie was a passenger in a car
Gebretsadik was driving. She was injured and lost the baby after an emergency caesarean section in Wellington hospital.
Wellington District Court judge Tom Broadmore decided that Gebretsadik had not been careless.
The hearing was only to determine if Gebretsadik had caused the accident. However it also means Gebretsadik was not guilty of causing the death as well.
The accident happened at the complicated Adelaide Rd, John St, Riddiford St intersection in Newtown.
Sheronika Singh said she had a green light to go through the intersection as she headed toward the Basin Reserve along Adelaide Road.
Gebretsadik said he had a green light coming out of John St.
Judge Broadmore said the simple issue was who ran the red light.
He said a reconciliation of the cases was impossible although the police expert on the lights had admitted there was a degree of uncertainty.
Police prosecutor Mark Wilton said Gebretsadik was careless in entering the intersection against a red light, his actions not being that of a reasonable and prudent driver.
Police maintained Gebretsadik had gone through the intersection during the second or third phase of the traffic signals which would have given him a red light.
Mr Wilton said the defence submission that Gebretsadik had reacted that much faster than anyone else to the light turning green was not accepted.
He also pointed out the inconsistencies it what Gebretsadik had said to the police that he had initially stopped at the lights then later changed it to went straight through.
Mr Wilton said it was also not accepted that Mrs Singh was not looking at the correct set of traffic lights when she entered the intersection.
He said it was unfortunate that the CCTV footage did not capture the collision.
Defence lawyer Kerrin Eckersley told the judge it was not proved which phase the lights were in when the collision occurred.
She said the police had not correctly identified which phases of the traffic signals the witnesses saw.
She said the timings seen on the CCTV footage did not match with the police version of events.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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