Man charged over motorcyclist’s death

Josh Martin was killed in a crash in October last year. Times photo

A man has been charged in relation to the death of Josh Martin, the Year 13 Pakuranga College student killed on his motorbike in a crash last year.

Police have confirmed a 45-year-old man has been charged with careless driving causing death relating to the crash near the school on October 15.

Josh, who also used the surname O’Hanlon, was just two months shy of his 18th birthday when he died.

The Times reported on October 16 that the crash was between an SUV and Josh’s motorcycle on Pakuranga Road opposite the netball courts in Lloyd Elsmore Park and almost directly in front of the McDonald’s car park entrance. The occupants of the SUV were uninjured.

Photos and tributes portrayed a talented, go-getting youth who loved sports, the sea and the outdoors, had a sense of humour and was well-respected by his peers.

Josh, 17, was a Bucklands Beach Sea Scouts member and cub leader as well as a founding member and captain of the Tamaki Lightning American Football Club.

He played the tuba in the Pakuranga Concert Band, members of which were present at his funeral service to perform Amazing Grace.

The service was led by Josh’s scout leader Keith Nisbet who aimed to capture some of the “diversity” of Josh’s multi-faceted life.

“Josh grabbed hold of life for what it was worth and he would want us to do the same,” Mr Nisbet said.

Pakuranga College principal Michael Williams said at the time: “Mistakes happen. One of the dangers is that people look for someone to blame and blame doesn’t help.

“There are so many different versions of the eye-witness accounts. It could be fate, an accident.

“What we need to do is acknowledge it and ensure it doesn’t happen again. There is no point in second-guessing the tragic circumstances which causes a lot of angst. Let the authorities do their job.”

Meanwhile the accused is scheduled to appear in the Manukau District Court on May 12.