TODAY |

Family of motorcyclist killed by drunk, drugged driver in Pukeohe feel 'cheated', 'robbed'

A couple planning to start a family were cheated out of their dreams when Stephen McPherson was killed by a drunk driver while riding his motorbike in Pukekohe.

That was almost one year ago. Now his family have spoken out in a bid to stop others getting behind the wheel drunk or on drugs.

In an emotional video shared by NZ Police, the 36-year-old's partner of 13 years, Rebecca Smidt, as well as his mum Sue and sisters Jane and Nicola talked about how they were "cheated" and "robbed" on that day - May 24, last year.

On his way home from the IVF clinic, Stephen was hit by a vehicle while riding his motorcycle on Helvetia Road, Pukekohe. 

The vehicle crossed the centreline and its driver was nearly three times over the alcohol limit, as well as high on methamphetamine at the time. The driver had to be told he'd killed someone by hospital staff because he was so drunk and drugged he didn't know, the family said.

"That driver ruined our dream of having a family, alongside many other dreams," Rebecca said.

"That decision the driver made to drive drunk and on drugs has changed my life forever.

"There was the before me and there’s an after me and it's horrendous … I wish I died that night instead of Stephen and quite often I think that because it's no way to live without him."

The driver was charged with driving dangerously causing death, causing death while driving with excess breath alcohol and causing the death of a person while in control of a vehicle while his blood contained a controlled substance.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and eight months’ in prison.

Drugged and drunk driving makes up an average of 30 per cent of all road deaths.

Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager Inspector Scott Webb said he hopes the video will help people realise the consequences of taking that risk.

Anyone who suspects someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is urged to contact *555 or 111 as soon as it is safe to do.