Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Driver convicted of manslaughter over fatal crash

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Auckland High Court. Times file photo Wayne Martin

A man has been found guilty of manslaughter for his role in a fatal vehicle crash in east Auckland in 2019.

Adam Speir was driving his Holden Commodore vehicle over the speed limit on Botany Road heading toward the intersection with Ti Rakau Drive when it collided with another vehicle waiting at a red light at about 5pm on January 28.

An occupant of the vehicle that Speir’s Holden struck, Zhengwen “Alan” Hu, 50, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The collision involved four vehicles, three of which were stationary at the intersection waiting to turn right.

The fourth car collided with the third, in turn shunting all three vehicles forward.

Another driver involved in the incident was hospitalised as police appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Officers asked for people who saw, or had dash camera footage of, an older model Holden Commodore vehicle being driven prior to the crash.

Police said they believed the vehicle may have been in the nearby east Auckland areas around Botany Road, Ridge Road, Bleakhouse Road, Pakuranga Road, and Aviemore Drive.

Almost $170,000 was raised through a Givealittle page online for Hu’s family following his death.

It was set up by one of the first people on the scene after the crash.

“Alan leaves behind his devoted wife and two daughters aged 8 and 11,” the page said.

“They went from a perfectly happy, healthy family to utter devastation in the blink of an eye.

“Their lives have been torn apart and it’s hard to imagine how long and arduous the journey to recovery will be.

“On top of the sorrow of losing her husband and their dad, they are now in financial hardship from the loss of his income.”

After Hu’s death, his wife Hua Yang thanked everyone who donated to the fundraising page.

“Our blissful family of four was completely unprepared for such a tragedy,” she said.

“Alan was our rock. It has literally felt like our sky has fallen.

“The public’s generous support has been incredible.

“In addition to the funds, which will be a tremendous help to us as we try to navigate our lives from now on, the kind messages have been a ray of light in our darkest hours.”

Police investigated the crash that claimed Hu’s life and charged Speir, of Pakuranga, with manslaughter.

He first appeared in the Manukau District Court on February 5, 2019, with his case subsequently being transferred to the Auckland High Court.

The Crown’s case at trial was presented by prosecutor Luke Radich while defence counsel Andrew Speed represented Speir.

Following a jury trial in front of Justice Ian Gault, Speir was found guilty of Hu’s manslaughter on June 7.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced in August.

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