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Foreign driver who caused serious head-on crash ticketed for speeding at 142km/h two days earlier in Timaru

A foreign driver who caused a head-on crash in February this year had been fined by police just two days earlier for travelling at 142km/h near Timaru.

The victim of the serious crash was driving on State Highway 99 on February 14 when he turned a corner and saw Polish national Milosz Urbanek driving his rental car on the wrong side of the road, the Otago Daily Times reported.

Both drivers swerved in the same direction, with the victim suffering broken ribs, a perforated lung and a concussion in the smash.

Yet, court documents have revealed Urbanek had been stopped by police just two days before the crash and fined $510 for travelling 142km/h.

Urbanek, who suffered head injuries and broken arms in the accident, was charged with dangerous driving causing injury.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty in his first appearance in the Dunedin District Court in February.  

The victim had also complained three weeks before the accident after seeing tourists driving dangerously around Tautapere, suggesting that arrows be painted on the roads to assist foreign motorists.

A police summary into the crash said 37-year-old Urbanek was travelling at 90km/h when the crash occurred and been driving on the wrong side of the road for 300m.

Judge Kevin Phillips said neither point was backed by conclusive evidence but he accepted that Urbanek’s driving was objectively dangerous.

The 37-year-old, who was working as a senior solutions designer, was reunited with his victim at restorative justice and offered to pay for the costs resulting from the crash.

Judge Phillips said he was also disregarding regular headlines made by tourists causing accidents.

"I am removing from my consideration the current wave of comment media-wise... as regards to overseas tourists driving on our roads,'' he said.

"I am treating you on the summary of facts you face.''

Urbanek was ordered to pay his victim $10,000 in damages and was banned for driving for 10 months.

The court heard he was planning to return to Poland shortly. 

Police have spent the day on the roads, looking out for drivers who aren't doing what they should be.
Source: 1 NEWS


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