Outspoken victim also caused road crash

CHE BAKER
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2013
Laura McIntosh and Sergeant Simon Paget
CHE BAKER/Fairfax NZ
OWN CONVICTION: Crash victim Laura McIntosh, with Sergeant Simon Paget in Cromwell yesterday, also has a conviction for dangerous driving causing injury.

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A woman calling for rental companies to stop hiring cars to inexperienced drivers after being involved in a serious crash that killed her partner has herself been convicted for careless driving causing injury.

Laura McIntosh suffered serious injuries after she was involved in a head-on crash in the Lindis Pass on November 26.

Chinese student Kejia Zheng, 20, who had arrived in New Zealand the day before the crash, had hit gravel, over-corrected and crossed the centre line, crashing into motorcycles driven by Grant John Roberts, 43, and Dennis Michael Pederson, 54. Both died. Miss McIntosh had been riding pillion on Mr Roberts' bike. Another man was also seriously injured.

In a police-organised interview with media representatives, in Cromwell, on Wednesday, Miss McIntosh said while the crash was an accident, she was unsure she could forgive the driver.

However, she had caused a crash on January 2 last year and was convicted in the Timaru District Court on October 25 on five charges after a defended hearing.

The charges followed a crash about 11pm on State Highway 8, 500m before the turn-off to Haldon Arm camping ground, between Burkes Pass and Tekapo.

After rounding a bend McIntosh, who was travelling towards Tekapo, veered to the left and hit shingle, then veered to the right, crossing the centre line and collided head on with a Toyota Hilux with a trailer and five passengers. The front-seat passengers in the Hilux were seriously injured and the back-seat passengers also suffered minor injuries.

Miss McIntosh suffered multiple hip fractures, a torn calf muscle, a cut to her head, lung damage, and broke bones in her feet and two her fingers as well as concussion.

The judge did not accept she had veered left because of the glare of the lights of the Hilux, which she said was close to the centre line. She was ordered to pay $10,734.60 reparation and disqualified from driving for six months.

Miss Zheng was ordered to make $10,000 of emotional harm payments and disqualified from driving for two years.

Miss McIntosh yesterday acknowledged her careless driving conviction."The circumstances were different. This accident killed two people, the other accident injured only me."

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- The Southland Times

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