Thursday, February 29, 2024

Driver who caused fatal crash imprisoned

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Pakuranga man Adam Speir has been sentenced to serve time in prison during an appearance at the Auckland High Court over a fatal crash he caused in 2019. Times file photo Wayne Martin

A man who caused a fatal road crash in east Auckland in 2019 has been sentenced to prison.

A jury earlier this year found Adam Speir, who lived in Pakuranga, guilty of manslaughter for his role in the crash which happened at about 5pm on January 28 in Botany.

He 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.

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.

Police investigated the crash that claimed Hu’s life and charged Speir 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 reappeared in the High Court to be sentenced on November 2.

Justice Gault said that on the evening prior to the fatal crash Speir had smoked methamphetamine and did not sleep.

The following morning he smoked cannabis and then went for a walk in a local park.

“You began to feel scared and to sense some evil or malevolent energy,” the judge said.

“After visiting your grandmother, at about 5pm, you were driving your car south down Botany Road in Botany.

“You were speeding as you approached the intersection of Botany Road and Ti Rakau Drive.

“From a distance of at least 2.5km from that intersection, you began driving dangerously.”

About 200 metres from the intersection Speir’s vehicle “became temporarily airborne due to your speed”.

“You continued approaching the intersection at over 100km/h in a 60km/h zone,” the judge said.

“There was a line of cars stopped at the intersection waiting for the lights to change.

“At a speed estimated by a serious crash investigator to have been between 106km/h and 116km/h, you drove your car into the back of a stationery vehicle, making no attempt to brake or avoid impact.

“As a result of the impact, two other cars in front of that vehicle were also propelled forward and sustained substantial damage. The crash was captured on CCTV.”

The judge said Hu was sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle Speir’s Holden struck and died soon after impact.

Justice Gault said that following the crash, while he was still trapped in the Holden, witnesses heard Speir yelling that he was Jesus Christ and “Jesus will save you”.

He sentenced Speir to serve four years and six months’ in prison and disqualified him from driving for two years starting on the date he’s released from prison.

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