Fatal crash driver made 'terrible mistake'

Kevin Davidson.
Kevin Davidson.
A teenager behind the wheel of a car which crashed near Mosgiel on Sunday morning, killing one passenger, made a ''terrible mistake'' which will stay with him for life.

Speaking at the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board meeting yesterday, Sergeant Kevin Davidson, of Mosgiel, said the 19-year-old behind the wheel was a ''pleasant young man'' who made a ''terrible, terrible mistake''.

''He's now got to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life,'' Sgt Davidson said.

''At 19, he thought he was 10-foot tall and bulletproof.''

The crash, which claimed the life of Joshua Duncan Anderson (19), of Taieri Beach, highlighted the importance of enforcement and education on drink-driving.

Dunedin city councillor and board member Kate Wilson said at the meeting she knew the driver and spoke to his father yesterday morning.

She emphasised that by getting in the car, the other passengers were also responsible.

''What I don't want to see is one boy taking the rap,'' she said.

''There were actually five kids that chose to do something they all knew was wrong.''

It was also important the driver was ''nurtured'' through what would be a tough period for him.

Sgt Davidson agreed, saying the other passengers had made statements accepting responsibility.

The case was a ''prime example of just how that sort of incident affects so many people''.

Teen crash tragedy

While there will be details of this crash not known to the public, and the indications are it was a situation involving factors not yet spelt out, I think it is far too early in the piece to start throwing blame around in public. The family who have just lost their boy should be left to grieve in peace for at least a few days before city councillors start making pronouncements about passengers being partly responsible for the crash. What happened to sensitivity for god's sake? Now is not the time to start pointing fingers. Show some respect for the bereaved Kate Wilson. By saying the passengers share the blame, you are also including the passenger who died. Would you say that if you were face to face with the grieving family? How will they feel reading that only a few days after losing their son?  I can't get over the lack of compassion these statements show at such a delicate time for the dead boy's family. [Abridged]

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