Crash driver pleads guilty

An Oamaru man who lost control of a speeding vehicle that ploughed into a Kakanui cafe causing significant damage will be sentenced on two charges next month.

Jamie Brian Keith Skudder (29), also known as Jamie Brian Keith Fitzgerald, appeared in the Oamaru District Court yesterday having pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing injury and driving while disqualified.

The court heard that about 10.40pm on October 21, Skudder, who holds a learner driver's licence, was driving an unregistered, unwarranted and illegally modified 1994 Ford Falcon with four passengers, including his sister, on Beach Rd at Kakanui.

He drove through a 50kmh speed limit area at high speed before he lost control of the vehicle, slid across both lanes of the road and smashed through Coast Cafe in Beach Rd.

The building sustained extensive damage as a result of the crash.

All the occupants in the vehicle suffered minor injuries, including Skudder's sister who was treated for a cut face and deep bruising to her left knee.

Skudder was transported to Oamaru Hospital by ambulance, but left before police were able to speak to him.

He presented himself to police the next morning.

When spoken to by police, Skudder said he crashed the vehicle because he was speeding and was an inexperienced driver.

Reparation was sought for damage caused to the cafe.

Skudder was remanded on bail for sentencing on March 21.


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