Driver was 'dazed and confused'

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2012

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A 24-year-old man whose early morning car crash left a 67-metre trail of destruction has been sentenced to community work.

Zade Avery, of Matemateaonga, appeared before Judge Tony Adeane in the Hawera District Court yesterday facing charges of dangerous driving and failing to stop at a non-injury crash.

However, his lawyer, Grant Vosseler, said Avery was dazed and confused after the crash and was taken from the scene by friends.

The police summary of facts said Avery failed to stop at the intersection of Pembroke Rd and State Highway 3 in Stratford just after midnight on November 17.

The ute he was driving jumped the kerb and ploughed through a railway crossing warning sign.

It then smashed into a warning bell, crossed 40 metres of grass verge, took out two concrete gate posts and slammed into the top of a single-storey home.

Avery and his three passengers climbed out of the vehicle, removed the licence plates and ran from the scene. No-one was hurt in the crash.

The ute had two bald tyres, no warrant of fitness and was not registered. Avery turned himself in to police later that day.

Mr Vosseler said Avery had fallen asleep behind the wheel after his friends had asked him to sober drive for them. Any comment about the speed he was doing was "purely speculation".

Judge Adeane said it was a wonder no-one was killed by Avery's "old heap of a car".

Avery admitted the charges and was sentenced to 250 hours of community work, disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay $600 in reparation.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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