Careless driver skittles biker


A crash near a Queenstown hotel left a motorcyclist with a badly broken leg and his daughter without a ticket to see Ed Sheeran, a court has heard.

The victim was driving behind Irene Doyle on Arthurs Point Rd on March 24 as she searched for the entrance to the Nugget Point Hotel.

The defendant slowed and indicated a left turn, resulting in the motorcyclist pulling out to pass.

Without warning, though, Doyle swerved right to make the turn into the resort, smashing into the motorbike and sending the victim skidding along the road.

Doyle appeared in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday, having admitted a count of careless driving causing injury.

Judge Kevin Phillips said the victim sustained a major fracture to the lower left leg and was in Lakes District Hospital for a week before being transferred to Invercargill for surgery.

But his recovery was not straightforward. The man said he was in ”excruciating pain” in the aftermath and also suffered post-operation complications because of nerve damage in his limb.

And frustratingly, according to his statement, the crash stopped him participating in the White Ribbon campaign, something with which he had been involved for years.

Because of his injury, the victim had missed weeks of work and his wife had to undertake full-time employment to keep the family afloat.

The financial hardship meant the man’s daughter had also missed out an a ticket to see Ed Sheeran perform in Dunedin next year.

Defence lawyer Joe O’Neill said Doyle believed she had indicated before making the right turn which saw her collide with the victim.

But Judge Phillips said that was ”obviously” not the case.

Both the motorcyclist and an independent witness contradicted the claim, the court heard.

O’Neill said the car had unfortunately not been checked for faults to check his client’s culpability.

Doyle was adamant she checked her rear-view mirror before turning into the hotel but her lawyer accepted the victim may have been making the passing manoeuvre as that took place.

The judge ordered the defendant pay $2153 to cover his expenses and loss of income arising from the incident.

He also sentenced Doyle to pay another $2000 for emotional harm, due by the end of August.

O’Neill said his client was living on superannuation but was looking to sell a Middlemarch property to make reparation.

Phillips said Doyle had an ”unblemished” driving record and sentenced her to the minimum mandatory ban of six months.

Otago Daily Times