The driver of a car that crossed the centreline into the path of a van that plunged off the Maungatapu Bridge killing Tauranga electrician Greg Woledge last August has admitted to all the charges.
Papamoa man Iain Stewart Crisp, 45, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of 24-year-old Greg Woledge, and to careless driving causing injury to the van's passenger Ashley Donkersly, when he appeared in Tauranga District Court today.
Iain Crisp in Tauranga District Court today.
The crash scene on the night of August 12, 2013.
Crisp also admitted that on the day of the crash he sold cannabis, possessed cannabis and cannabis seeds, possessed instruments for smoking cannabis, a tin can and a pipe, and to making a false statement in a log book.
Crisp, who was a bus driver at the time of the crash, was driving a Mitsubishi sedan towards Mount Maunganui when he crossed the centreline colliding with the AMP'T Electrical van driven by Greg about 6.10pm on August 12.
The van was driven through the bridge railing by the impact and fell five metres into the harbour at Rangataua Bay.
Passenger Ashley Donkersly, then 23, managed to escape after the van became submerged. Witnesses saw him struggling in the water and a non-swimmer jumped in tied to a strop, but was unable to reach him.
Ashley was saved by Constable Deane O'Connor, who stripped to his underwear and dived in and grabbed him before they were carried away by the current. Both were suffering from hypothermia by the time they reached shore.
Greg however was trapped inside the van on the driver's side and was unable to be rescued. His body remained in the van and was recovered the following day when the vehicle was lifted from the water by crane.
In court today Crisp's Bill Nabney said his client is seeking a restorative justice conference with the victims' families.
Judge Louis Bidois ordered a report on the result of any restorative justice conference before remanding him on bail for sentencing on April 7. Due to the driving charges, Crisp is ordered not to drive while on bail.
The Judge also told Crisp he is looking at jail as a starting point but gave him credit for his guilty pleas.