Grandfather crashed Corvette

A Rotorua grandfather who crashed his $90,000 Corvette Dragster on a Rotorua industrial street has admitted a charge of dangerous driving.

Michael Roger Carlton, 57, appeared in the Rotorua District Court yesterday on a charge of driving in a dangerous manner.

His lawyer Brian Foote said Carlton was a father and grandfather who was "extremely embarrassed" to be appearing before the court.

Mr Foote said Carlton had purchased the car in bits over several years and put it all together.

He first drove it on a drag strip but on the day in question he made the "stupid" decision to test it on Tallyho St, where he lost control of the vehicle.

Mr Foote said since the crash Carlton had gone "out of his way" to put things right,

The car, worth $90,000, was wrecked and sold for parts and he had paid over $13,000 to fix another vehicle he damaged while racing as well as a donation to emergency services.

"He learnt a huge lesson."

According to the police summary of facts, which was not read out in court, Carlton accelerated heavily and lost control crashing down a small bank off the main road.

He then reversed out and sped over a distance of about 200m before crashing into a stationary vehicle which had one person in it.

Although the vehicle was damaged, nobody was injured in the crash.

Community Magistrate Sherida Cooper said the victim had written a letter supporting Carlton.

He was convicted and disqualified from driving for six months. He was also ordered to pay $130 in court costs.

By Rebecca Malcolm of the Rotorua Daily Post

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