No conviction but P endorsement stripped

Photo: ODT Files
Photo: ODT Files
A bus driver who ran a red light and crushed a pedestrian’s foot has avoided a conviction.

But the result before Dunedin District Court yesterday was not the end of 61-year-old Anne-Marie Sumicz’s woes.

As a result of the incident on February 27 last year, the defendant was stripped of her P endorsement (required by drivers operating a passenger service) by the NZ Transport Agency. Sumicz appealed that decision and a court hearing has been set for later this month.

Defence counsel Nathan Laws told Judge Peter Rollo the NZTA would place some weight on his decision when it came to its stance on appeal.

Sumicz was driving her bus north through the Octagon.

At traffic lights, the motorist in front signalled to make an illegal right turn rather than continue into George St.

They were only able to make the turn once the lights were red, leaving the bus stranded in the intersection.

Sumicz, who was captured on CCTV gesturing at the driver, opted to continue onward despite pedestrians having the green light to cross.

"You made the wrong judgement call," Judge Rollo said.

The victim, who was wearing earphones, walked out on to the road as another pedestrian yelled a warning about the oncoming bus.

The Otago Polytechnic student hit the passenger door of the bus, was knocked down and the heavy vehicle drove over her left foot, causing two fractures.

The victim, who was in court for yesterday’s hearing, incurred $1000 in lost earnings and suffered ongoing pain from her injuries and setbacks with her studies. She opposed Sumicz being discharged without conviction but Judge Rollo took a different view.

He granted the defence application and opted not to impose a disqualification on the defendant considering the time she had already been off the road.

The judge ordered Sumicz to pay the victim $1000 for the emotional harm caused.

That would be paid at $20 a week since the defendant was now on the benefit.

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