Volunteer admits causing injuries
A volleyball club volunteer who lost control of a vehicle holding 13 people pleaded guilty to four charges of careless driving causing injury in the Christchurch District Court today.
On April 27 Justin James Arundel Lambert, 39, lost control of the van on a downward section of the road near Hanmer Springs, hit a bank and flipped the van onto the driver's side.
Six of the injured people were flown to hospital, and four received treatment. One had a broken arm, one needed skin grafts, and two more needed stitches.
Defence counsel David Goldwater said Lambert was sorry for the accident, and had tried to make amends to the victims.
Lambert had paid each volleyball player's fees for the season, and a further $200 to the players who were taken to hospital. He had also offered to pay expenses to the parents who were driving to the game, but they did not feel it was necessary.
The Air Rescue Trust came to help at the scene, and the volleyball club had added them to their banner to help promote them, Mr Goldwater said.
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said the victims had recovered from the ordeal.
He said it was difficult to know the cause of the crash - either inattention, fatigue, or distraction - but it did not appear that speed was an issue according to the people in the van.
He said he was not going to impose a further penalty because of the amends Lambert had made, but had to disqualify him for the mandatory six months.