Driver 'getting used to power'

21:28, Oct 23 2012

An unemployed Palmerston North man who drove too fast through an intersection and lost control told police he was getting used to the power of his new vehicle.

About 4am on November 13 last year, Jesse David Toner, 25, accelerated around a roundabout in Koromiko Ave.

The car careered across the road and hit a tree.

"The [passenger] fell out of the vehicle onto the roadway," a police summary says.

"[Toner] has climbed out of the driver's side window and fled the scene, leaving the [passenger] unconscious and bleeding from a large cut to the head."

Police caught up with Toner on December 7. He told them he checked on the passenger before he ran off.


"He stated it was a new car with lots of power. It also needed new rear tyres and he freaked out when it crashed."

In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Toner was sentenced to 8 months' home detention on a charge of dangerous driving causing injury.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and two months.

Judge David Smith said there was no evidence Toner showed remorse, however, he had pleaded guilty reasonably early.

"It's quite clear that the speed you were going at the time you hit the tree must have been quite high because the damage to your vehicle is such that you are lucky that both you and [the passenger] were not killed."

The passenger suffered cuts and bruises and was still feeling the emotional effects of what happened, Judge Smith said.

Toner has previous drink-driving convictions and one for dangerous driving.

"These matters indicate to me that you have not taken on board just how careful and responsible you have to be when driving a vehicle," the judge told Toner.

Manawatu Standard