Driver sentenced over death

A Springvale man was sentenced to four months' community detention yesterday for causing the death of Richard Kohler, of Poolburn, in a crash near Alexandra a year ago.

Gary Andrew Dick (42), heavy truck-trailer driver, was sentenced by Judge John Strettell by audiovisual link in the Queenstown District Court.

He had already admitted causing Mr Kohler's death on February 28 last year by carelessly using a motor vehicle in Chatto Creek-Springvale Rd while driving on the wrong part of the road.

As well as community detention, Judge Strettell ordered Dick to pay the victim's family $7500 in reparation, and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

The police summary of facts, reported by the Otago Daily Times in November, said Mr Kohler was riding his motorbike north on State Highway 85 towards Chatto Creek.

Dick was travelling south towards Alexandra in an Isuzu heavy motor vehicle.

Intending to turn right on to Springvale Rd, he slowed down, indicated and began turning right, straddling the double yellow lines and encroaching into the lane Mr Kohler was travelling in.

Dick did not see Mr Kohler approaching, but was alerted by a passenger. Mr Kohler was unable to avoid the truck, and the two collided close to the centre line. He died at the scene.

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