Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield-Wanoa died in October in the
A Hastings council tractor driver has pleaded guilty to
dangerous driving causing the death a 4-year-old boy in a
horrific mowing accident last year.
The 72-year-old man, who has interim name suppression until
his sentencing, appeared in Napier District Court this
morning and entered a guilty plea to driving a motor vehicle
dangerously causing the death of Uetaha Dahtanian
Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker opposed the elderly man's
name suppression and said: "On behalf of the family, they do
feel the name of their young child has been unfairly
published while [the accused] has not had his published."
The tragedy occurred at Kirkpatrick Park in Hastings on
October 8 last year. Witnesses said Uetaha was killed when he
was run over by the tractor-mower.
Police also said at the time of the incident the toddler was
believed to have been at the Camberley park with older
cousins before he was struck by the machine.
The family of Uetaha, affectionately known as "Bubbies", have
described the little boy as a "bubbly, cheeky" toddler.
The 4-year-old was looking forward to starting at Kura
Kaupapa o Heretaunga School in Hastings.
The 72-year-old driver, who worked for the Hastings District
Council, will next appear for sentencing in July. He had been
with the council for 13 years and was a senior driver.
Hastings District Council is also being prosecuted over the
death by the Government's workplace safety agency, WorkSafe
- Sam Hurley of Hawke's Bay Today