Yong Wang (43) walks to the Dunedin District Court
yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The grieving family of a woman killed in a car crash
caused by her brother say they are struggling to forgive his
Chinese national Yong Wang (43), who suffered major head
injuries and resulting amnesia in the crash, was on crutches
when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
Judge Josephine Bouchier noted Wang's ''personal
difficulties'', including multiple injuries that had kept him
largely bed-ridden, his lack of English and his present
However, despite the tragic outcome of the crash, which
killed his sister and injured four others, including his
brother-in-law and niece, Wang had to be punished for driving
dangerously causing death and on four charges of driving
dangerously causing injury.
His health prevented him from doing community work or going
''Prison is not a hospital. It is a prison,'' the judge said,
before sentencing Wang to nine months' home detention.
He was also ordered to pay $600 emotional harm reparation to
each of the Invercargill couple injured in the head-on crash
and an additional $1800 reparation to the man.
Judge Bouchier earlier noted an article in Thursday's
Otago Daily Times about a plan to lower the number of
tourists involved in serious or fatal crashes on New Zealand
''Seems like a good idea,'' Judge Bouchier said.
Wang had been in New Zealand two days when he drove his
rental vehicle, with passengers his sister, her husband and
their adult daughter, from Te Anau on State Highway 94 on the
afternoon of December 29.
After overtaking a vehicle, the rental remained in the
opposite lane and, upon entering a curve, collided head-on
with a Ford Falcon with two occupants.
His sister, Wenjie Wang - the left rear passenger - was
killed and her husband, Yong Zhang, (right rear) suffered
major internal injuries. Their daughter, Jinglu Zhang, (front
seat passenger) sustained head lacerations.
In her victim impact statement, Miss Zhang (31), who had been
studying in New Zealand, said she was ''still angry''.
The death of her mother had resulted in ''immense grief'' for
the family and it would take them a long time to recover.
Her father, Mr Zhang, said he was angry at the driving
behaviour of his brother-in-law, and found it ''difficult to
The other driver, Richard Wayne Alexander (32), suffered
multiple injuries and his passenger, Renee Tamai Goomes (29),
a broken wrist and collar bone.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Alexander said the
accident had seriously impacted on the active life, finances
and employment he used to enjoy.
He was now reliant on his partner to assist him in day-to-day
He was also reliant on ACC, which was often difficult to deal