Badly hurt crash victim happy with court result

Temuka crash victim Keith Stewart holds no resentment towards an Oamaru man who caused a crash which left him with severe injuries.

Brett Nicholas Bishop, 30, escaped conviction when he appeared in the Timaru District Court last week on charges of careless driving causing injury.

"I'm happy with the outcome," Stewart said.

Bishop caused the crash in Temuka at about 6.45am on January 30 when his car veered across the centre line and collided with a car waiting to turn from Vine St into King St. That car collided with Stewart's.

Bishop told police he was briefly distracted reaching for his coffee.

Stewart and a male passenger were heading to work at the Smithfield freezing works.

The slaughterman had driven the same route to work for the past 32 years.

"The impact was like a shotgun blast ... it just happened so quickly. I was knocked out but I came around and remember talking with my mate."

The impact was all on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Stewart sustained a fractured skull, broken neck, fractured tibia and seven broken ribs as well as bad lacerations to his right elbow and ear.

"I had a hole in my skull above my right temple and pretty bad lacerations on my knee."

He was admitted to Timaru Hospital where he stayed for three nights. "I had a severe concussion."

Stewart said despite "feeling a bit down" when he returned to work after two months, he was happy that Bishop escaped conviction. "Yeah, it's a good outcome. We can all have accidents."

Bishop appeared in court on three charges of careless driving causing injury. He had paid $11,000 in reparation to his victims and was discharged without conviction. Police were opposed to this because of the serious injury involved.

Both Stewart's passenger and the driver of the car that was turning into King St did not wish to comment.

The Timaru Herald