Cemetery crashman convicted

A drug-fuelled man who was ejected from his vehicle in a high-speed crash outside the Gladstone Cemetery was told in the Greymouth District Court yesterday he was lucky he did not end up dead.

Michael Grant Kuiti (21) admitted driving with blood containing drugs (methamphetamine P and cannabis), dangerous driving and unlawful possession of ammunition.

At 2pm on May 7, police spotted Kuiti driving along Main South Rd at high speed.

"He was travelling south and overtook vehicles travelling at speeds of between 127kmh and 138kmh. Going around a corner, Kuiti lost control of the vehicle ... and crashed into a fence, destroying it.

"The vehicle flipped and Kuiti, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected through the front window. His partner was also in the vehicle,’’ police prosecutor Sergeant Mathew Wood said.

A blood test showed levels of methamphetamine and THC.

Kuiti told police he had been at a party the night before.

Reparation of $2600 was sought for damage to the cemetery fence.

Judge Peter Rollo told Kuiti not wearing a seatbelt was a "very bad" practice.

"You are very lucky not to end up dead, and the irony of that is the crash was right beside the cemetery."

The ammunition charge arose on July 29, when police stopped a car Kuiti was in. He admitted he did not have a firearms licence and the 40 .22 bullets were his.

Lawyer Megan Boyd asked that a probation report be prepared before Kuiti was sentenced due to his age and some "underlying issues".

Kuiti was convicted and remanded for sentencing on September 25. 


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