Alcoholic driving car that killed newlywed

01:43, Jan 31 2009
BRIDE'S TRAGIC END: Four months ago, Katie Powles couldn't wipe the smile off her face despite the heavy rain falling at her wedding. Now she is is dead, and at the centre of a homicide inquiry.

A man at the centre of a homicide inquiry - launched after a fatal car smash on Tuesday - was a known alcoholic, police say.

Newlywed Katie Powles suffered multiple injuries and died on the way to hospital on Tuesday night after the car she was driving was struck by the man.

Inspector Mark Gutry told a press conference this afternoon that the man was in Auckland Hospital and was under induced sedation.

HORROR CRASH: The car Katie Powles was driving home from work when she was hit.

He said he would face "serious charges" once he recovered consciousness but could not confirm it would be for murder.

The 51-year-old's recovery would be affected by a history of alcoholism, he said.

A friend of the Powles family, Kerry Jones, said they could not say publicly what they felt intensely about the 51-year-old.

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CRUMPLED CAR: Police believe the driver of this car, left, deliberately collided with a Fiat Uno and then Mrs Powles' vehicle.

"The wrong person is dead. There is an innocent person dead. Why didn't he go and do it alone, by himself," Jones said.

The family would suffer for the rest of their lives.

"The guy has got be be accountable for what he's done."

CRUMPLED CARS: The first car hit in the crash which left the driver in hospital with serious leg and pelvic injuries.

GRIEVING NEWLYWED TRIES TO COPE WITH WIFE'S DEATH

The grieving husband of Mrs Powles was today still trying to cope with the death of his wife.

Mrs Powles was driving home from her work as a Manukau office administrator. She died on the way to hospital.

A tearful Danielle Beyleveld of Auckland said her friend was "just one of those people that was always smiling".

Mrs Powles had befriended her when she arrived from South Africa three years ago. "She was one of my first friends."

In February, Katie Ennion became Mrs Katie Powles. Heavy rain fell at her wedding, but she smiled the entire day, Ms Beyleveld said. "She's just an awesome girl."

A classmate from Waiuku College days said Mrs Powles was always "really friendly", and the Waiuku community would be in shock over what had happened.

Mrs Powles was an assistant instructor at the Waiuku Taekwon-Do club and was going for her black belt this year.

On the night she died, she had phoned head instructor Phil Dunn to say she would be late.

He said yesterday that he was preparing to break the news to the students and that her grieving parents and husband were "just trying to get to grips with what happened at the press conference", at which police announced the homicide inquiry. 

Fairfax Media