Drunk quad bike driver avoids jail

A man who seriously injured his 6-year-old daughter when he crashed his overloaded quad bike while driving drunk avoided prison due to the "appalling experience".

Daniel McGregor, 29, was sentenced to nine months' home detention and was disqualified from driving for two years when he appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of excess blood alcohol causing injury and one charge of reckless driving in April.

He appeared in the dock on crutches, where he was told a prison sentence also had the potential to further traumatise his daughter.

McGregor was driving the overloaded quad bike down a steep hill from a Waimarama lookout at about 11.20pm on January 2 when he crashed, injuring all four passengers and himself.

He and his daughter, Ashlee Shorrock, now aged 7, were both airlifted to Hawke's Bay Hospital.

McGregor broke both his legs in the incident.

Ashlee suffered fractures to her face and head, while his partner, Stephanie Lucas, 22, received grazes and a fractured jaw and finger.

The two remaining passengers, Rhys Liley, 20, and Kevin Frater, 29 - all broke bones due to the accident.

McGregor was intoxicated, the bike was in poor condition and was without brakes.

His lawyer, Scott Jefferson, told the court his client was the only passenger who received permanent injury after he fractured both his legs in the crash. He was likely to regain only 80 per cent use of one leg.

Mr Jefferson said the probation report illustrated McGregor's remorse and shame for his actions.

"He is the last person who would want to hurt his own daughter or his close friends, or his partner," Mr Jefferson said.

Police had asked for a term of imprisonment, to act as a deterrent to others. However, Judge Jonathan Down noted "the potential for causing further trauma to your daughter, which I'm not prepared to do".

He said he was unlikely to reoffend, given the "appalling experience brought about by your drinking and poor judgment".

A blood sample taken in hospital showed McGregor had a reading of 111 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal adult level is 80 milligrams.

Ashlee had since made a full recovery.

- Corey Charlton of Hawke's Bay Today

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