Fine for fatal Christmas Day crash driver

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 13:31 29/11/2013
fatal christmas day crash
FAIRFAX NZ

FATAL: Chinese national Rongomei Wang, 71, died on Christmas Day after the driver of the car she was in drove through a red light and collided with another vehicle.

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A man who drove through a red-light, colliding with another car and killing his mother-in-law passenger on Christmas Day has been sentenced.

Sickness beneficiary William Ma, 57, was handed down a $1000 fine and disqualified from driving for six months by Judge David Ruth after pleading guilty to a charge of careless driving causing the death of 71-year-old Chinese national Rongomei Wang. 

The Hamilton District Court heard Mrs Wang, Ma's mother-in-law, was a back seat passenger in Ma's car that bore the brunt of the crash at the intersection of Avalon Drive and Te Rapa Rd, outside Burger King.

Ma's counsel James Gurnick said the crash still haunted Ma and his wife, who remained at his side.

Ma had no previous convictions and had to bear significant costs of the collision, including catching a near $400 taxi back to Auckland after the crash and the approximate $6000 replacement cost of the car, which was uninsured.

Judge Ruth said the case ''really is a tragedy''.

Not only had Ma had to cover costs associated with the crash, but also the trauma of the death of his mother-in-law and the impact on the family coming up to the first anniversary of the crash.

In April,  the driver of the other vehicle, Jonelle Ann Williams, 26, was sentenced to nine months' supervision and disqualified from driving for a year on charges possession of the class A drug LSD, driving while suspended and failing to stop and ascertain injury after the crash.

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