Full investigation of road death led to withdrawal of charge

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2014

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Serious charges against a driver who hit and killed a pedestrian near Big Jim's Garden Centre in February were only withdrawn after the full investigation was completed, police said yesterday.

Wiremu Thompson,19, died on February 2 on State Highway 3 about 4.30am when he and his cousin were walking home from a Waitara party.

The driver who hit him, Kylee Wallace, 37, of New Plymouth at 4.45am was initially charged with drink-driving causing death.

However, this week police withdrew the charge and replaced it with drink-driving, Wallace's third.

"Police inquiries . . . immediately after the crash included completing interviews, scene examination and a vehicle inspection," prosecuting Sergeant Lewis Sutton said yesterday.

"At the time of this crash Ms Wallace was charged, based on information that was available to us.

"Since Ms Wallace's initial court appearance we have received further information including a crash and pathology report.

"After considering all information available now, and statutes, the decision to lay a new charging document was made."

On Tuesday, Wiremu Thompson's father, Dennis Thompson of Bell Block, told the Taranaki Daily News that while he remained angry with the driver he understood why police withdrew the charge.

Police had told the family that even a sober driver would not have been able to avoid a collision with the 19-year-old who was walking in the dark and in the dip of the road.

Wallace will be sentenced on July 2.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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