Tourist to meet victim's husband

Last updated 12:10 06/06/2014
Cody James Dickey with his wife
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
DAY IN COURT: Cody James Dickey, left, with his wife, will be given the chance to meet with the husband of the woman killed in a crash at Whenuakite last Friday.

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The driver of a campervan that crashed into a vehicle killing a South Auckland grandmother will meet her husband in the next few days.

Details of a restorative justice conference between the driver, Cody Dickey, from California, and Philip Derrick were confirmed in the Hamilton District Court this morning.

Dickey's campervan crashed head-on into a 4WD killing Derrick's wife, Robyn, 52, on State Highway 25 near Whitianga on May 30.

Yesterday, Dickey pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving causing the death of Robyn Derrick, and careless driving causing injury to Philip Derrick, who was hospitalised with serious injuries.

Dickey and his wife were also injured and treated at Thames Hospital.

Dickey was excused from this morning's callover in the Hamilton District Court, where his lawyer Mike McIvor confirmed Derrick and his family were keen to take part in an urgent restorative justice conference.

Community Magistrate Susan Hovell said the conference would be held in Auckland next week.

Co-ordinators would contact each party this weekend to confirm the date.

The magistrate also set a sentencing date for Dickey of June 16.

Hovell said that while the conference was being expedited, that could mean emotions would still be sensitive due to Robyn Derrick's death only a week ago.

"I think there's a need to understand that because it's happened so quickly it's going to be very difficult for both parties and that's something that's never reported," she said.

"What goes into these matters - it's not just a sentencing.

"The court is aware of the compassion that needs to be considered because no matter what the outcome of the sentencing is it will never, ever change what's happened, for either family."

In yesterday's hearing, McIvor said his client had managed to raise $4000 from family and friends at home for emotional harm reparation.

The couple had been travelling around New Zealand for about a week and were due to fly out the day after the crash.

In his victim impact statement, Derrick wrote how he was "numb" at losing his best friend after promising each other they'd be good grandparents.

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