Manslaughter dropped

21:30, Feb 10 2014

Manslaughter charges have been dropped for a truck driver involved in a crash which killed prominent Urenui couple Ern and Nancy Sutton. 

The trial of Henry Anthony Tawhai, in his 50s, a truck driver of Palmerston North, is underway in the High Court in New Plymouth today.

Tawhai denies a charge of criminal nuisance in that he knowingly operated a truck on a road at Motunui on May 28, 2012 with an insecure load of pipes endangering lives.

Last November he had pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, a charge he is no longer facing.

The trial is expected to finish this week.

At the time of the crash police said Tawhai's truck was travelling north on State Highway 3 carrying a load of metal pipes.

The load shifted on a bend, the truck tipped over and spilled the pipes onto the road hitting the Suttons' southbound car.

The Suttons, both aged 83, died at the scene.

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