Stoned driver caused mayhem
A stoned driver crashed into a woman's car causing it to spin out of control across three lanes of rush-hour traffic.
The new car the 57-year-old victim was driving was written off, the New Plymouth District Court heard yesterday.
When police spoke to the male driver who caused the crash, there was a strong smell of cannabis in the car.
Freezing worker Jamie Richard Malster, 21, admitted to police he had smoked a cone of cannabis that day and the day before.
Although he failed a compulsory impairment test he refused to have a blood test.
Malster had pulled out to pass slower traffic on State Highway 3 between Smart and Vickers roads at 4.35pm on June 16 during peak traffic.
But he lost control and slid sideways into the right rear corner of the car in front.
The other car spun out of control, went up and over a wire median barrier at the Vickers Rd intersection, across three lanes of opposing traffic, up a grass verge, through a security fence and into the grounds of business premises.
Malster also spun out, ending up on the grass on the seaward side of Devon Rd north of Vickers Rd.
He admitted careless driving, refusing blood and the possession of cannabis seeds that were found in his car.
The car had no warrant of fitness or registration and had two bald tyres.
"You were fortunate not to kill someone," Judge Allan Roberts told Malster.
The other driver, who worked with the intellectually disabled, "was indeed a forgiving person", the judge said.
She lost her $35,000 new car that she had wanted and worked hard to buy but in her victim impact statement said she was grateful neither she nor Malster were killed, the judge said.
She was uninjured but suffered from shock and was left in pain, the court heard.
The financial loss, after insurance paid out, was $10,000.
The crash had affected her, her family and friends and she hoped Malster had learnt from the incident.
Malster was sentenced to 150 hours' community work and disqualified from driving for nine months.
He was ordered to make reparation of $5000.
Taranaki Daily News