Tourist admits causing fatal crash

CRASH DRIVER:  Cody James Dickey, of Newark, California, leaves Hamilton District Court with his wife.
CRASH DRIVER: Cody James Dickey, of Newark, California, leaves Hamilton District Court with his wife.

The sentencing of an American tourist who admitted driving causing the death of a woman and injuring her husband in a crash near Whitianga on Friday has been adjourned.

In the Hamilton District Court today, Cody James Dickey, 23, of Newark, California, pleaded guilty to two charges of careless driving causing the death of Robyn Derrick, 52, of South Auckland, and careless driving causing injury to her husband, Philip, on Tairua-Whitianga Rd, Whenuakite on May 30.

Dickey was the driver of a campervan which crossed the centre line and crashed into the couple's 4WD near the turn off to Hot Water Beach on Friday afternoon.

Philip Derrick was hospitalised with serious injuries.

Dickey and his wife were also injured and treated at Thames Hospital.

Dickey appeared remorseful when standing in the dock and was supported in court by his wife.

His lawyer Mike McIvor asked if his client could be sentenced today although he was open to a restorative justice conference.

Police confirmed that Derrick was keen to attend a conference with Dickey over the lunch adjournment. A date will be set for that to happen tomorrow.

Community Magistrate Susan Hovell remanded Dickey on further bail.

Earlier, McIvor said his client had no money but had been able to raise $4000 from family and friends at home for emotional harm reparation.

The couple had been travelling around New Zealand for about a week and were due to fly out the day after the crash.

The lawyer said he was worried that if the case was remanded for a lengthy period for a restorative justice conference, the money would be used up by Dickey and his wife on living expenses.

Hovell said it was clear from Derrick's victim impact statement that he was still suffering from his wife's loss, describing her as his "best friend", and that he is still numb, she said.

"They promised each other that they would be good grandparents and as he says in his victim impact statement he is still numb from the tragedy at losing his wife's life," she said.

"I would like to see if he was prepared to meet [with Dickey].

"There's been two families lives changed . . . Mr Derrick has lost his wife and, as he puts in his victim impact statement, his best friend.

"Any accident is a tragedy, however, a restorative justice conference does help the healing process if they're able to meet." 

Waikato Times