Power pole crash a $320k write off

AMY MAAS
Last updated 12:30 23/01/2014
Early morning Auckland smash destroys $320,000 Aston Martin.
SNPA

EXPENSIVE MISTAKE: Early morning Auckland smash destroys $320,000 Aston Martin.

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A man who gave his wife a $320,000 Aston Martin Rapide wrote it off after hitting a power pole on Auckland waterfront's Tamaki Dr.

Weihao Chen, 26, a Chinese national on holiday in New Zealand, was charged with dangerous driving and driving with excess breath alcohol after the incident on October 20.

At the Auckland District Court today, a charge of driving with excess breath alcohol was withdrawn by police.

Chen pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving and was ordered to pay a $750 fine and $130 in court costs. He was also disqualified from driving for nine months.

The court heard today that Chen, who was on holiday with his wife and their one-year-old child, had met with friends at The Chancery for dinner.

After dinner, he then "made an error in judgement" and drove too fast around a bend on Tamaki Dr, hitting the power pole.

The Aston Martin, which he had bought as a gift for his wife during their stay in New Zealand, was "completely written off".

The Aston Martin Rapide has an aluminium chassis and a V12 engine that produces a top speed of more than 300kmh.

The 2013 model Rapide sells for about $359,000, the older model appears to be available for just $320,000.

Because Chen was facing a drink-driving charge the damage to the Aston Martin was not covered by insurance.

Chen escaped from the accident unscathed, apart from a bruise from his seat belt and an eye-watering bill.

He was ordered to pay Auckland Transport more than $14,000 to repair the power pole.

"It was one of the most expensive power poles in Auckland, made especially for Tamaki Dr," Chen's lawyer Karen Harding told the court.

Harding added that Chen reimbursed Auckland Transport "immediately" as the businessman was "well-equipped to deal with the financial responsibility".

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