Driver's tearful apology to families

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:10 21/02/2013
foxton
MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ
William Nicholson-Kuiti at his sentencing in the High Court in Palmerston North for manslaughter.

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The man behind the wheel of a car that crashed while speeding towards Foxton Beach, killing two people, has today made a tearful apology to the families of those killed.

William Nicholson-Kuiti was the driver of a Ford Telstar that skidded on gravel then flipped in Foxton Beach Rd shortly before 5am on February 20, 2011.

Louise Reichenbach, 20, of Foxton Beach, and Bailey Kinita, 14, of Shannon died. Four other passengers suffered injuries.

Nicholson-Kuiti admitted two charges of manslaughter and four of dangerous driving causing injury and is serving a four year, nine month prison term.

He was allowed out of jail today to give evidence at a Coroner's inquest into the deaths.

After answering questions from Coroner Tim Scott, Nicholson-Kuiti turned to the Kinita and Reichenbach families.

"Just once again sorry to the families," he said.

"I think about you every day."

Nicholson-Kuiti had no memory of the crash but recalled going to a party at Himatangi.

He said he drank close to nine bottles of beer from about 7pm on February 19, before the party.

He drove to Victoria Park, Foxton, where he picked up some more passengers.

"I can't remember leaving the park. That's the last thing I remember, sitting there talking to her."

The hearing today will also hear from Jivahn Hubbard, a passenger in the Telstar, and Bailey's mother Cath.

It was alleged that Nicholson-Kuiti was racing Michael Needham, of Foxton.

Needham was acquitted last year at a High Court trial on two charges of being a party to manslaughter and four of being a party to dangerous driving causing injury.

Needham was asked to give evidence today, but is yet to show up.

The hearing continues.

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- Manawatu Standard

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