Crash broke pensioner’s sternum

An 85-year-old Dunedin man has been robbed of his independence after his car was hit by a fellow pensioner, a court has heard.

The victim suffered a broken sternum and said he was now completely reliant on his adult children for transportation.

“After a long recovery I’ll likely never drive again,” the man said, in a statement read by his daughter.

Ann Marie Bateman, 67, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting a charge of careless driving causing injury.

On April 26, she was at the Thorn St intersection, intending to drive into Fitzroy St.

Counsel Jo Turner said her client was on the way to a doctor’s appointment and her view was obscured by parked cars on each side of the road.

When the defendant pulled out she slammed into the side of the victim’s vehicle, sending him crashing into a wooden fence and a small tree, while she hit a power pole.

A pensioner has been ordered to pay her victim $800 after hitting him at a South Dunedin...
A pensioner has been ordered to pay her victim $800 after hitting him at a South Dunedin intersection. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

The victim detailed the arduous three-month recovery, during which he had to perform daily breathing exercises to ward off the threat of pneumonia.

“It was very painful to laugh, cough or sneeze,” he said.

Ms Turner said Bateman, who suffered whiplash in the collision, remained “very upset” by the incident.

Judge Emma Smith described the defendant as “a person of very good character” with no previous convictions, but said the crime was serious due to the severity of the injury caused.

Bateman was ordered to pay the victim $800 and banned from driving for six months.