A Chinese tourist's inexperience in driving on New Zealand
roads led to a crash which killed two motorcyclists in the
Lindis Pass, a judge said yesterday, ordering the woman to
pay $10,000 emotional harm reparation to the victims and
Kejia Zheng (20), a student, of Shaoxinl, was sentenced in
the Alexandra District Court on four charges arising from the
She had admitted driving carelessly, causing the death of
Grant John Roberts, of Timaru, and Dennis Michael Pederson,
of Tauranga, and driving carelessly, causing injury to Laura
Kate McIntosh and William Vincent Ridley, at Tarras on
As well as ordering Zheng to pay emotional harm reparation,
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll disqualified her from driving for
'' ... the crash was caused through your inexperience both
generally and specifically on New Zealand roads. It's not
suggested that there were any other contributing factors,''
Zheng had rented a car while on holiday in the country.
Driving through the Lindis Pass, she drifted on to the gravel
on the left hand side of the road and then lost control of
the vehicle, when a group of motorcyclists were on the same
stretch of road, travelling in the opposite direction. Her
car slid sideways, hitting Mr Pederson and pushing him into
the steel barrier and then sliding into the path of Mr
Mr Ridley braked hard and his motorbike slid across the road.
Both Mr Pederson and Mr Roberts were thrown several metres
and died at the scene. Ms McIntosh, a passenger on Mr
Roberts' motorbike, was also thrown off the bike and received
serious injuries. She remained in Dunedin Hospital. Mr Ridley
received leg injuries and was treated by St John ambulance
Judge O'Driscoll said there was no suggestion Zheng was
speeding or that the motorcyclists had contributed to the
crash in any way.
He had victim impact reports from Mr Pederson's widow, from
Ms McIntosh, who was Mr Roberts' partner, from one of Mr
Roberts' sisters and his mother, Valmai Crawford, of
''They all talk about their loss, their emotions, their pain
and grief and also have concerns about the future, in
particular Ms McIntosh, who will have months, if not years of
rehabilitation as a result of the crash.''
He was impressed Zheng met Mr Roberts' family on Wednesday to
express her sorrow and remorse - ''that was a brave thing for
you to do''. It was also brave of the family to meet Zheng
and they had taken a ''compassionate view'' in asking that
the defendant not be sentenced to jail, he said.
Zheng was a first offender and no amount of reparation or
fine would change what had happened or make up for the loss
of life. Her insurance would cover the damage to the
uninsured motorcycles, Judge O'Driscoll said. Of the
emotional harm reparation, $5000 is to be paid to Ms
McIntosh, $3000 to Mr Pederson's widow and $2000 to Mr