Tourist fined for fatal crash
The American tourist who admitted driving causing the death of a woman and injuring her husband has been ordered to pay $5500 reparation to his victims.
Cody James Dickey, 23, of Newark, California, appeared in the Hamilton District Court this afternoon for sentencing on a charge of careless driving causing the death of Robyn Derrick, 52, of South Auckland, and careless driving causing injury to her husband, Philip, on Tairua-Whitianga Rd, Whenuakite on May 30.
He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months and to pay court costs of $130.
Dickey was the driver of a campervan which crossed the centre line and crashed into the couple's 4WD near the turn off to Hot Water Beach.
Philip Derrick was hospitalised with serious injuries.
The Derrick family were in court for the sentencing.
Community Magistrate Susan Hovell said this wasn't a case where a tourist had crossed the centre line due to overseas driving differences.
Dickey had taken the action he did due to an honest belief there was a vehicle coming towards them.
Dickey's lawyer Mike McIvor said his client paid a reparation sum of $4000 to court on Friday to immediately pay to the Derrick family.
McIvor said the tourists had been travelling around New Zealand for a week before the crash celebrating their second wedding anniversary.
They were due to fly home the day after the crash.
Dickey was an engineer working with boilers and had offered to pay a further $750 per month for as long as was needed if the reparation sum was not enough, he said.
McIvor said the crash occurred after both his client and his wife both thought they saw two sets of headlights coming towards them so he pulled as far right as possible, with the crash occurring in the fog line.
Dickey was overwhelmed by the restorative justice conference - which was held in the Derrick family home two days after Robyn Derrick's funeral - and the forgiveness shown by the Derrick family.
McIvor also thanked the many members of the public who had offered financial support to his client.
"He has never been to court before in his life and has been driving since the age of 16," he said.
Dickey appeared remorseful when standing in the dock and was supported in court by his wife. The couple were also injured and treated at Thames Hospital.