Dad can't forget son falling off back of ute

Last updated 12:29 22/08/2013

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A 9-year-old boy fractured his skull when he fell off the back of a ute his father was driving on a country road, the Gore District Court was told yesterday.

The boy's father, Richard Peter Dinan, 39, appeared before Judge Christopher Somerville and admitted a charge of driving carelessly causing injury to his son at Wyndham on July 18.

He was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Penny Stratford said the boy was standing on the back of the ute hanging on to the roll bar.

Dinan and another person had just loaded baleage on the back of the ute and were intending to travel about one kilometre, she said. Dinan drove around a moderate bend and his son slipped and fell from the ute on to the road, suffering a fractured skull.

Dinan's lawyer, Katherine Henry, said Dinan 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 parent's 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 said it was the sort of risk people in the country seemed to take, but that did not make it right.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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