Exit head quits role after fatal accident
Retired Nelson architect Christopher Vine has admitted his driving caused the death of a Takaka motorcyclist in an accident on the Appleby Highway.
Vine, 80, in Nelson District Court yesterday admitted a charge of careless driving causing the death of Terence John Frederick Grew, 56, last month.
The case has been referred to restorative justice with Mr Grew's family, and Vine will be sentenced on December 10.
Outside court yesterday, Vine said he was not defending the charge as he was in the wrong.
An error of judgment had led to his decision to pull out of the intersection as he thought Mr Grew was travelling slower than he was.
Mr Grew hit the back of Vine's car.
Vine said he was extremely upset at what had happened, and was reliving "what if" moments in his mind.
He would not be driving again and until the accident he had been proud of the fact he had been driving for 63 years without incident.
He had also decided to stand aside in his role as Nelson spokesman for Exit International, the voluntary euthanasia group set up by Australian doctor Philip Nitschke.
He said he did not think it was a rational decision, but after being involved with the death of a person he did not want to be involved with the death of others at the moment. Vine said he still supported the principles of the group but was taking leave of absence from the group.
He was keen to undertake restorative justice.
The crash happened at 5.30pm on October 27 at Appleby, near Richmond, at the intersection of State Highway 60 and the Moutere Highway, known as Pea Viner Corner.
Vine was coming out of the Moutere Highway and indicating to turn right to head toward Nelson, and collided with the motorcyclist, heading toward Motueka. Mr Grew, who was riding a 2005 Harley Davidson Sportster, died at the scene.
There was no indication of speeding.
Mr Grew's partner, Anita Brockhouse, said she had been with him for 20 years, and for the past five years the couple had been living on the Takaka Hill, managing a farm of sheep, donkeys and a cat.
He was a magnet for animals and children, he had been a loyal friend with a great sense of humour.
"Everybody that he got to know just loved him dearly. He touched people very deeply."
Mr Grew, who had one daughter and three grandchildren, had owned bikes all his life.
The motorcycle he had been riding had been a 50th birthday present, she said.
The Nelson Mail