Drink-driver paralysed after Takaka Hill crash

Last updated 07:43 26/02/2013

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A man who crashed his car over a bank on Takaka Hill suffered spinal injuries after he fell onto rocks while trying to help his passengers from the car.

Kori James Wairepo was sentenced in the Nelson District Court yesterday after admitting charges of driving with excess blood alcohol and careless driving.

Prosecutor Sergeant Wayne Johnston said Wairepo was driving a Holden over the Takaka Hill in November and the lost control, the car slid across the road and down a bank.

Wairepo was injured when he fell onto rocks while trying to help the passengers out of the up-turned vehicle.

He was airlifted to Nelson Hospital and a blood alcohol test revealed a level of 91mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80 mg.

Wairepo told police he had put bald tyres on the back of his car to do skids.

Lawyer John Sandston said Wairepo had been doing skids on a farm and forgot to change the tyres back.

The car had lost traction with the front tyres and the bald rear tyres had not contributed to the crash.

Wairepo was paralysed for three days following the crash, and his $2000 car was uninsured and written off.

Judge Russell said Wairepo was lucky he and his passengers were not killed.

Wairepo was fined $1300, disqualified from driving for 10 months, and sentenced to six months supervision.

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