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Drink-driver caused ‘accident upon accident’ near Dunedin Airport


Truck driver Michael Wardell could also be dealing with an “enormous” invoice over a Momona crash final month. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

A truck driver who ploughed into 9 parked automobiles near Dunedin Airport was drunk.

Michael Roger Wardell, 32, appeared within the Dunedin District Court yesterday the place he pleaded responsible to careless driving and driving in transport service with an extra blood alcohol.

Following the Momona crash early on June 25, police observed the driving force smelled of alcohol. He later gave a blood-alcohol studying of 107mg — greater than twice the authorized restrict.

Wardell claimed he had drunk two beers the evening earlier than. The court docket heard he had his truck and trailer unit, weighing 50 tonnes, laden with bales of hay in Palmerston and had spent the evening there.

Counsel Anne Stevens QC stated her consumer drank alcohol within the pub and slept in his cab earlier than driving with out consuming breakfast.

“He had no idea he would be over the limit,” she stated.

At 7.25 am, virtually an hour and a half into his journey to Outram, the driving force rounded the sharp bend in State Highway 86.

He instructed police he was confronted by a automotive within the fallacious lane and swerved left to keep away from it. The clarification, Stevens stated, was corroborated by CCTV footage from a close-by storage.

Once Wardell hit the primary parked automotive, his steering failed and the wreckage multiplied.

“It was accident upon accident,” Stevens stated.

Judge David Robinson famous Wardell had one other drink-driving conviction from 2009 and ordered a report on whether or not he would profit from counselling.

He agreed to the defence suggestion to not cease the defendant from driving whereas on bail.

Wardell confronted repaying an “enormous amount” to his victims and wished to earn as a lot as potential earlier than sentencing in September, Stevens stated.

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