Cody Dickey leaves Hamilton District Court with his wife
after admitting two charges of careless driving causing
death and injury. Photo / Mike Walen
An American man was due to fly home with his wife the day
after the vehicle he was driving crossed the centre line and
collided with a four-wheel drive vehicle, killing an Auckland
He's now in limbo as the crash victim's family wait to meet
him at a restorative justice conference.
Cody Dickey of Newark, California, yesterday pleaded guilty
to a charge of careless driving causing the death of Robyn
Eileen Derrick and another of careless driving causing injury
to her husband, Phillip.
Police told the Hamilton District Court Dickey, 23, was
driving in wet conditions around a bend on SH25 near
Whenuakite when he crossed the centreline and collided with
the Derricks' 4WD vehicle on May 30.
Mrs Derrick, 52, died at the scene while her husband, who was
driving, was airlifted to Auckland City Hospital with serious
Community magistrate Sue Hovell ordered Dickey to surrender
his passport to the court before remanding him at large so a
date for a restorative justice conference with the Derrick
family could be set in court today.
"I have little doubt that you are totally horrified by the
finding that you are responsible for Mrs Derrick's death and
the injuries to Mr Derrick," said Ms Hovell.
"This will remain with you forever -- however the
consequences for the Derrick family are extremely severe."
A distraught Dickey, who at times could be seen quietly
sobbing with his wife Lia Dickey, would not comment when
approached outside court.
His lawyer Mike McIvor later said Dickey wished to convey his
condolences to the Derrick family but he would be reserving
any other comment for the restorative justice process.
The funeral for Mrs Derrick will be held in Papakura today.
Earlier, the court heard Dickey and his wife had been
travelling around in their medium-sized campervan for about a
week before the accident.
Mr McIvor said his client thought he saw two sets of
headlights heading towards him as he went around the bend on
He said his client was "shocked" and "devastated" and without
any support in New Zealand "really doesn't know where to go".
He said Dickey, who had planned to leave New Zealand on June
1, had no savings or notable assets in the US but raised
$4000 through family and friends to pay toward the emotional
Mr McIvor asked the court to convict his client and order he
make the payment to the family so he could leave the country
but Ms Hovell ordered that the possibility of a restorative
justice conference be sought.
Meanwhile, an American tourist visiting the West Coast on a
working holiday visa suffered a severe brain injury after
driving drunk and crashing his car near Franz Josef Glacier
on April 25.
Tyler Wood was fined $950 and banned from driving for six
months when he appeared in Greymouth District Court this
Wood had been drinking at a bar in Franz Josef and was
refused any more alcohol due to his intoxication. He got into
his car and headed north but crashed 2km later. A blood test
at Grey Base Hospital showed Wood had 120mcg of alcohol per
100 millilitres of blood. The legal adult limit is 80mcg.
Judge Robert Murfitt said nothing he could say to Wood
compared to the brain injury. "Hopefully, youth and
resilience will allow you to largely recover," the judge
- James Ihaka, NZ Herald