Car split in two after drink-driver loses control

Invercargill District Court.

CAR split in two after a drink-driver lost control of it and crashed into a tractor, a court heard last Thursday.

Edendale arborist Vaughan Blakely (30) was driving with his uncle on February 16 last year.

In the Invercargill District Court, Judge John Brandts-Giesen said Blakely had just overtaken a vehicle and was approaching a corner at speed.

As he took the corner, he crossed the lane, hitting a tractor travelling in the opposite direction.

“It caused your car to split into two pieces,” Judge Brandts-Giesen said.

The car travelling behind Blakely then crashed into the tractor as well.

Blakely’s uncle received two broken ribs and a broken shoulder bone as a result of the crash.

“That no-one was killed was luck and quite frankly not your skill luck,” Judge Brandts-Giesen said.

The tractor had $100,000 of damage.

The police summary of facts said he was travelling at 155kmh at the time he took the corner, but defence counsel Olivia Taylor disputed how fast he was driving as witnesses did not report he was going that fast.

The judge agreed, saying it was unlikely he was travelling that fast but was probably still travelling too quickly.

Blakely admitted to police he had been drinking and a blood test showed a level of 118mg.

He had three previous drink-driving charges, two from 2009 and one from 2017. A pre-sentence report said Blakely acknowledged he would benefit from attending a drug and alcohol programme.

“In a way, a vehicle being driven too fast by a person who is over the limit is a form of violence and it showed the disregard for your passenger and other road users and, of course, it’s an extremely bad example to your children,” the judge said.

Judge Brandts-Giesen sentenced Blakely to four months’ community detention, 100 hours’ community work and 12 months’ supervision and ordered him to pay reparation of $15,000.