Woman guilty of careless driving

A seriously injured driver in a car crash after New Year has been found guilty of causing the accident that saw three people taken to Timaru Hospital.

Laura Kate McIntosh, 27, of Timaru, was found guilty in Timaru District Court on five charges of careless driving causing injury at a defended hearing in front of Judge Brian Callaghan yesterday.

The charges followed a crash on January 2 this year, around 11pm on State Highway 8, 500m before the turn-off to Haldon Arm camping ground, between Burkes Pass and Tekapo.

After rounding a bend McIntosh, who was travelling towards Tekapo, veered to the left and hit shingle, then veered to the right crossing the centre line and collided head on with a Toyota Hilux with a trailer and five passengers heading toward Burkes Pass. The front-seat passengers in the Hilux sustained the worst injuries and were taken to Timaru Hospital, and the back-seat passengers also received minor injuries.

McIntosh sustained the worst injuries overall, with multiple fractures in her pelvis, her calf muscle ripped apart, a laceration to her head, lung contusions, four broken bones in her feet and two broken bones in her fingers along with concussion.

Judge Callaghan did not accept she had veered to the left because of the glare of the lights of the Hilux, which she said in evidence was close to the centre line.

"I find that the defendant did, for whatever reason, wander across the wrong side of the road. She over-corrected and lost control and went into the shingle which caused her to veer into the path of the Hilux.

"The carelessness was being on the wrong side of the road in the first place."

McIntosh was convicted and remanded at large to November 30 for sentencing.

Other matters: Kiel Thomas Fox, 26, cable technician, of Washdyke; EBA 99mg - fined $1000, disqualified from driving for 10 months.

Aaron Ross Bray, 20, fisherman, of Timaru; EBA 639mcg - fined $560, disqualified for six months.

The Timaru Herald