Near miss a 'wake up call' for teen driver

Last updated 07:59 04/12/2012
car crash
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ

AFTERMATH: The car that smashed into the fence and garden of an Abraham Heights home on November 10.

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A Nelson man whose car crashed into an Abraham Heights garden where children had been playing minutes earlier has had a huge wake up call and is extremely remorseful, a lawyer says.

Joshua Callum Cross, 18, admitted in the Nelson District Court yesterday a charge of dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Sergeant Graeme Eden said Cross was driving down Abraham Heights on November 10 when he came to a corner and lost control.

Cross went to the other side of the road before veering back to the left hand side of the road, hitting the kerb and spinning the car 180 degrees.

The car crashed through a fence and came to rest in a yard, where children had been playing five minutes earlier.

The mother of the children Monique Bosch spoke to the Nelson Mail after the crash saying she was concerned at how drivers were treating Abraham Heights and said how easily the accident could have killed someone.

Her family was hosting a barbecue at the time.

She and others spoken to about the incident said they believed speed was a factor in the crash.

Lawyer Alan Heward said yesterday that Cross had been driving within the speed limit and was "extremely remorseful" and had not driven since the accident.

His friends had started calling him "back seat driver".

He realised the danger and how he could have killed his friends in the car or someone else.

He was close to hitting a concrete power pole at the site.

He said some people on Abraham Heights were angry at what had happened and he was dealt some "family justice".

Judge Tony Zohrab said Cross did not have a criminal history and the crash was a wake up call.

"It could have been much much worse if the children had been in the yard."

He hoped the accident had been a lesson for him.

Judge Zohrab convicted Cross disqualified him from driving for six months and ordered him to pay $500 reparation at a rate of $200 a fortnight on the fence.

Judge Zohrab said that was the insurance excess and Cross might have to pay more to the insurance company.

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