Woman’s driving ‘error of judgment’ caused death

A woman’s “error of judgment” leading to the death of a passenger in her car, brought a fine and driving ban in the Christchurch District Court.

Judge Alistair Garland said the family of Warren Allen did not want Oluwatoyin Afolabi, a 48-year-old care worker, further punished by the courts, as she had gone through enough. They also did not want to be paid any emotional harm payment.

Defence counsel Anselm Williams said Afolabi had attended a restorative justice meeting with the family of Mr Allen, and it had been very helpful for both parties.

He said the incident was a moment of unintentional confusion, which resulted in a tragic accident which had impacted everybody.

Afolabi had taken steps to get professional counselling, he said, and was on a working visa and hoped to be able to continue working in New Zealand.

Judge Garland said Afolabi had been charged with careless driving causing the death of Warren Allen.

She was a care worker who had Mr Allen as a passenger in her car.

On March 15, on Hasketts Road, Templeton, she was making a right hand turn into an address when she stopped for another NZ Care car to exit the driveway. When she started to drive into the driveway she failed to see a van travelling towards her, which collided with the left side of her car, and spun it 180 degrees.

Mr Allen was thrown against the inside panel of the van, and died the following day.

Judge Garland said it was important the public understood that it was an error of judgment, or mistake, that anyone could have made, but it had led to tragic consequences.

He convicted Afolabi, and fined her $500. He also disqualified her from driving for six months.