Tourist driver must pay $2000 to crash victim

January 8, 2016 | By More

Court House-general1A Chinese man must pay $2000 to the injured victim of his driving before he flies out of Christchurch Airport, bound for Auckland and Shanghai, on Saturday.

Zhihao Wang, 39, was ordered to make the payment by Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland after admitting the charge of careless driving causing injury.

It was uncertain for hours whether Wang would be allowed to leave New Zealand with his four travelling companions as scheduled.

Firstly, Judge Garland delayed the hearing for Restorative Justice to consider whether a meeting should be held. They decided it was not appropriate with Wang not consenting to the conference with the Waikato motorcyclist involved in the December 27 crash.

Then the judge decided he wanted to know about the victim’s situation so that he could consider ordering an emotional harm reparation payment. The hearing was delayed again so that the police could telephone Hamilton to find out details that would normally be set out in a victim impact statement.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Glenn Pascoe said Wang had arrived in New Zealand on December 26.

He was driving a rental car with four passengers at 3.53pm the next day, on Karapiro Road, near Cambridge, when he turned onto State Highway 1 and the car was struck by a motorcycle travelling on the highway.

The impact sent the rider rolling down the road. He received grazing to both knees, bruising, a broken left wrist, and cuts to two fingers. The motorcyclist was setting off on holiday at the time.

Wang told the police that when he looked the road was clear and it appeared the motorcycle had come around a bend very fast.

Defence counsel April Kelland said Wang had been very shocked by the accident. He had inquiried about the rider after police transported him from the crash scene and was told that he was up and walking about. He did not appear to have concussion or serious injuries. He had asked the police to pass his apology on to the rider.

She said he worked as a project manager for a power company in Shanghai.

Judge Garland said Wang’s careless driving had caused serious injuries and the rider was still receiving medical treatment. He disqualified Wang from driving for six months for his “bad mistake”, and ordered him to pay $2000 emotional harm reparations to the rider.

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