Former Wellington undertaker admits fault in causing cyclist's brain damage

Gary Manson was cycling to work in 2007 when he was hit by a truck driven by Darryl Angus.
Andrew Gorrie

Gary Manson was cycling to work in 2007 when he was hit by a truck driven by Darryl Angus.

A controversial former Wainuiomata undertaker has admitted ploughing a truck into a cyclist.

Gary Manson told the Wellington District Court how his wife and young children had struggled since Darryl Thomas Robert Angus, 50, caused him to suffer brain impairment in 2007.

The then-30-year-old was in a coma for 16 days after being hit by a 20-metre truck and trailer that cut across his cycle's path without indicating near the Karori Tunnel.

Former Lower Hutt funeral director Darryl Angus in 2002.

Former Lower Hutt funeral director Darryl Angus in 2002.

With no court summons issued at the time, Angus left for Australia where he tried to build a real estate company. He returned to New Zealand in 2013, and was placed on restricted bail and surrendered his passport.

Reading to the court from his victim impact statement last Wednesday, Manson said his family were left trying to rebuild their lives, "facing a depressing reality without progress".

He described his pre-crash self as a "healthy man with a relaxed manner" on a managerial career path.

He now suffered "significant cognitive issues".

Manson said he also suffered constant pain in his lower back, a consistent burning sensation in his ankle and disrupted sleep.

The judge sentenced Angus on an amended charge of careless driving causing injury and ordered him to do 220 hours of community work; to pay $5000 in reparation; and disqualified him from driving for nine months.

Court documents shown to Fairfax Media revealed Angus is living in Ashburton.

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Word spread that he was back in the country after Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard shared the news on social media.

Mallard has long called for an investigation into the failure of Angus' former Lower Hutt business, Omega Funeral Services, which was liquidated in 2005 owing more than $100,000 to unsecured investors.

"A significant number of constituents have approached me about the return to the country of Darryl Angus and I undertook to follow the matter up with police again," Mallard said late last year.

The MP called for people to get in touch after some, mostly elderly, lost a total of about $36,000 in prepaid funeral savings. A liquidator's report found the money was never held in a trust account, and was unlikely ever to be reimbursed. Other Hutt Valley funeral homes stepped up to help the people.

Angus has always said there was no truth to any claims of business wrong-doing.

He had been a funeral director for about 15 years. He once claimed a woman he was embalming had started bleeding so he unsuccessfully sought $1 million in damages from the Hutt Valley District Health Board and the doctor who pronounced her dead.

He found work as a delivery driver, leading to the crash with Manson.

 - Stuff

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