A group at court threatened a truck driver who admitted running a red light in a crash that killed two and injured three family members in Yaldhurst Road in April.
One of the red-clad group could be heard saying, “You’re dead,” to the driver after he stepped out of the dock at the Christchurch District Court.
Court security staff stepped in and kept him safe in court, but one of the group still managed to ruffle his hair as he sat in the public seats while he waited for his bail papers.
Other women members of the group then approached him, crouched down and comforted him, asking if he was all right.
Women associates of the driver were sobbing as the ugly incident unfolded, while security staff ushered the red-clad group out of the court, and watched while they left the courts.
Casey James Winter, 22, pleaded guilty to charges of careless driving causing the deaths of Fulumoa Daly, 35, and his 12-year-old nephew Ezekiel Tanielu-Loua, and causing injury to three other people.
After he pleaded guilty immediately at his first appearance on the charges in the Christchurch District Court, Judge Tony Couch remanded him on bail for sentencing on November 27.
He asked for a pre-sentence report which will consider Winter’s suitability for an electronically monitored sentence. The case has been referred for a restorative justice conference with the families of the victims, and a long sentencing slot has been set aside for victim impact statements to be read.
The crash happened soon after midnight on April 5, at the corner of Yaldhurst and Russley Roads, when a truck crashed into a car at the light-controlled intersection.
Mr Daly worked as a site traffic management supervisor at City Care. The car also contained Mr Daly’s wife, Sefulu Annie Teevale-Daly, and his four-year-old son Zion Benet Taliauli, and his four-year-old nephew Zachariah David Fuata’i, who were all injured.
Police said Winter was driving a truck travelling east on Yaldhurst Road. The car containing the family entered the intersection with Russley Road on a green light.
Winter drove through the red light, hitting the car and killing the two occupants. The woman front seat passenger received skull bruising and a lumbar spine fracture. Two children in the back seat received skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries and were transported to Starship Hospital in Auckland in critical condition.
Winter told police he thought the light was green.
After the court appearance, Winter was let out of the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct through the police station, to avoid the crowd which was waiting outside the Court House.