Boy falls from ute in Southland
A Southland man has been fined after his young son suffered a fractured skull after he slipped and fell from the back of a ute.
Richard Peter Dinan, 39, who appeared before Judge Christopher Somerville today in the Gore District Court, was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for six months for driving carelessly causing injury to his son at Wyndham on July 18.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Penny Stratford said the nine-year-old was standing on the back of the ute hanging on to the roll bar while his father was driving.
Dinan, his son and another person had loaded bailage on the back and were intending to travel about 1km, she said.
Dinan drove around a moderate bend and his son slipped and fell from the ute onto the road, suffering a fractured skull, she said.
Dinan's lawyer Katherine Henry said he thought about the incident every day.
He was not sure of his speed but thought 40kmh would have been the maximum, she said.
His son did not require surgery and was recovering well.
Judge Somerville said it was every parents worst nightmare to be the driver of a vehicle where one of their children was injured.
"It's made doubly worse when you look back and think you could have done things differently."
Judge Somerville told Dinan it was the sort of risk people in the country seemed to take but that did not make it right and it was a risk.
The Southland Times