A 17-year-old has admitted causing the death of an innocent motorist in a tragic crash, which followed a police chase through Christchurch last month.
The accused, who was granted interim name suppression, entered guilty pleas to charges of manslaughter and dangerous driving causing injury in an appearance at the High Court in Christchurch this morning.
Police say the teenager, who is a rural farm worker in Canterbury, was on a learner licence when he got behind the wheel of a car with four other young passengers, and fled one of their patrol vehicles early on the morning of October 22.
The fleeing car t-boned another vehicle at the intersection of Glandovey Rd and Idris Rd in Fendalton just four minutes into the chase, killing 64-year-old hospital worker Kenneth McCaul.
Several passengers in the fleeing car were hospitalised but the accused has not suffered any serious injury and appeared physically well in the dock today.
Mr McCaul was employed in the blood service at Christchurch Hospital and was on his way to work when the crash happened. He has been described as an “angel” by some of his former patients and as a loving husband to his partner of 40 years.
The accused previously appeared in the Youth Court but had his case transferred to an adult jurisdiction.
The summary of facts shows he was on his learner licence at the time and was breaching the conditions by consuming alcohol, carrying passengers and driving after 10PM.
He reached speeds of up to 110km/h and ran at least two red lights, at speeds of 70km/h and 40km/h, and later told police his friends were encouraging him to flee.
The crash happened when he ran third red light, t-boning Mr McCaul's Hyundai and shunting right across road where it hit a fence.
The summary says one of the backseat passengers in the car is currently in an induced coma with a broken neck and has an uncertain prognosis.
Bail was allowed to continue on strict conditions with the accused to reappear in the High Court for sentencing on December 16, where his name suppression will be reassessed.