Meth, cannabis in system at time of serious injury crash

A man had methamphetamine and cannabis in his system and had driven close to 1500km in less than 48 hours when he crashed after failing to see a stop sign in Geraldine, leaving a woman with serious head injuries.

In the Queenstown District Court before Judge Alison McLeod yesterday morning Patariki Paora Isaacs (34) admitted driving a motor vehicle in Tiplady Rd while his blood contained evidence of the use of a controlled drug, and driving at a dangerous speed, causing injury to Lisa Ferris, on August 4 in Geraldine.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said on August 3 Isaacs had driven from the Bay of Islands to Wellington and crossed the Cook Strait by ferry before setting out from Picton at 6am on August 4.

He had slept and consumed cannabis there before driving south.

About 4.15pm Isaacs was travelling northwest in Tiplady Rd, while Ms Ferris was travelling east on the Geraldine-Fairlie highway, towards Geraldine.

Isaacs went through an intersection controlled by a stop sign without stopping and hit Ms Ferris’ car at an estimated speed of 78kmh, impacting with the right front wheel and driver’s door.

The force of the impact caused the victim’s vehicle to become airborne and flip through the air.

Sgt Collin said her car took out a stop sign and a fence and ended up on its side against a tree facing the opposite direction.

Ms Ferris was knocked unconscious and was trapped for about an hour before she was freed by emergency services.

It took some time to stabilise her before she was flown to Christchurch Hospital for treatment.

While Isaacs sustained a broken ankle, Ms Ferris sustained serious traumatic injuries, including head injuries, which meant she required assistance to complete daily activities and had not seen her children since the incident.

A blood test revealed Isaacs had both methamphetamine and cannabis in his system — while he admitted having a cone of cannabis in Picton, he chose not to comment in relation to the methamphetamine.

He told police he had been on his phone at the time of the crash and did not see the stop sign.

Judge McLeod accepted Isaacs’ guilty pleas and remanded him on bail ahead of sentencing in March.

Bail conditions include not to possess or consume any controlled drugs, except for those prescribed, and not to drive.

 

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