A young west Auckland plumber has admitted drink-driving
charges laid over the death of two friends travelling in the
van he was driving.
Joel Dylan Bowlin will be sentenced next month on two charges
of excess blood alcohol causing the deaths of Ashley Walsh
20, and Tye Gibbs, 19.
Bowlin, 22, faces a maximum punishment of 10 years' jail or a
He pleaded guilty in the Waitakere District Court last month
and a court summary of facts, released to APNZ today, reveals
one of the dead passengers was not wearing a seatbelt.
About 2.45am on August 24 last year, Bowlin was driving a van
along Old North Rd, Kumeu. It was foggy at the time and road
conditions were said to be good but damp on the 80 km/h
Bowlin lost control at a right-hand bend, veering right then
left and then leaving the road.
The summary says the van rolled "violently" over an open
drain before smashing into a retaining post and brick feature
wall, and coming to a stop upside-down.
Mr Gibbs, who was wearing a seatbelt, and Ms Walsh, who
wasn't, died at the scene.
According to the results of a vehicle inspection, the van was
operating normally before the crash, but its front tyres were
worn on their outer edges and were "not of a warrantable
Tests found Bowlin's blood alcohol reading was 113
milligrams, above the legal limit of 80mg.
He initially declined to comment to police.
When Bowlin was charged earlier this year, Ms Walsh's mother
Ngaire Parker told the Herald on Sunday she welcomed the
prosecution, but it wouldn't fill the gaping hole left in her
"We're still really upset about it all. Ashley was such a
gentle little person, she was different to other teenagers.
"We've lost our beautiful girl, it doesn't bring comfort.
We're glad that he's been charged but it doesn't bring
comfort to Ashley's dad or me or her little sister that
misses her every day."
- Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ