Driver deeply sorry

03:07, Mar 25 2014

The driver of a car which smashed into a truck near Tisbury, killing a passenger, wished he had died instead, the Invercargill District Court was told.

Bo Gao , of Beijing, was convicted of careless use of a motor vehicle, causing death, when he appeared before Judge Christina Cook today.

The charge related to a crash near the intersection of Boundary and Motu Rimu roads on March 17, which killed a 27-year-old female.

Lawyer Jono Ross told the court Gao, who was driving at the time of the crash, felt deeply sorry and wished he had been in the passenger's place instead.

The pair were travelling around New Zealand with a group of tourists who had met over the internet, Mr Ross said.

Gao was used to driving on state highways, where there were fewer intersections, and had not noticed the give way sign approaching at the end of Boundary Rd, the court was told.


The deceased, who was acting as the group's navigator, also failed to notice the give way sign, and the vehicle travelled through the intersection, smashing into a truck, Mr Ross said.

Both vehicles sustained extensive damage in the crash.

Although Gao recognised no amount of money could make up for what happened, he was able to pay $1500 as emotional harm reparation, Mr Ross said.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Grant Gerken said the family of the deceased, who was also Chinese, had not been able to obtain a visa during the weekend to travel to New Zealand.

They were expected to arrive early this week to take their daughter home, but would like to be present for Gao's sentencing, he said.

Judge Cook said she wanted to give the victim's family the opportunity to be present and remanded Gao until tomorrow for sentence.


The Southland Times