A Singaporean pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving causing death and two charges of careless driving causing injury on Monday (Jan 27) in a court in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Dalbert Tin, who was visiting New Zealand with his wife, was driving a car that was in a three-vehicle collision that killed an 84-year-old woman, Ms Noelene Tait, on Jan 14 in Queenstown.
The Singaporean, a 29-year-old shop-owner, appeared before a judge at the Queenstown District Court on Monday (Jan 27) to enter his guilty pleas.
In addition to causing Ms Tait’s death, the collision injured a motorcyclist and Tin’s wife.
Tin is out on bail for a restorative justice meeting and will appear in court again for sentencing on Feb 10.
At about 3.30 pm that day, Tin was driving a rented car towards Queenstown, with his wife asleep in the passenger seat. As he was driving, he crossed the road’s centre line and into the path of a Yamaha motorcycle.
The motorcyclist, Mr Glen Cherry, made a sudden left when he realised he could not avoid crashing into the car. He has hit on the right leg and thrown off the motorcycle.
Tin’s car then crashed into a Suzuki Swift driven by Ms Tait. She suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.
Mr Cherry suffered a badly broken ankle and was flown to the Dunedin Hospital for surgery. Mrs Tin suffered abdominal injuries and was taken to the Lakes District Hospital.
Ms Tait was a violinist and a member of the Arrow Miners Band. She performed at local establishments every week and played music at a number of local retirement homes even if she was older than the residents there. She had also served as a nurse at Kew Hospital in Invercargill.
One of her friends was quoted by nzherald.com as saying: “She was a hard thing because, although she was 84, she used to say, ‘I’m going to go down and do something for the oldies’. She was probably older than most of them there.”
According to Ms Louise Denton, Tin’s lawyer, her client could give no reason to explain why he was on the other side of the road when the accident occurred. -/TISG