Drink-driver jailed for fatal car crash

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012

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A woman has been jailed for two years for her part in a car crash that killed her friend earlier this year.

Nadia Lianne Ena McCullough, 24, of Stratford, had earlier pleaded guilty to being in charge of a motor vehicle causing death and causing injury.

Police had previously withdrawn other alcohol-related charges against McCullough, because there were issues with a blood sample taken at Taranaki Base Hospital.

An agreement was reached with McCullough's lawyer in which several specific alcohol charges were dropped and the two main charges of "person in charge of a motor vehicle causing death" and "causing injury" were amended to include drinking.

Yesterday, the Hawera District Court was told that sample was 162 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - twice the legal limit.

On June 2, McCullough was taking three friends home from a party in Stratford. She was driving south along State Highway 3 when she lost control and hit a power pole near Pioneer Village.

The rear passenger on the driver's side suffered head injuries and died instantly.

The other rear passenger suffered a severed ear, which was sewn back on in surgery.

McCullough also suffered injuries to her head and face.

Defence Lawyer Rajan Rai pushed for a sentence of home detention based on McCullough's genuine remorse. The families involved had also forgiven her, he said.

McCullough was emotionally fragile and struggling to cope with what she had done.

Judge Allan Roberts said jail was the only option because people who drank and drove needed to know the courts would not offer them sympathy.

McCullough was also disqualified from driving for two years and six months.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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