Auckland truck driver caught for manslaughter after fatal Taupō crash

It was raining when Auckland driver, Daniel William Raukawa Taukava, 41, was racing along State Highway 1 at Atiamuri near Taupō.

He was not wearing a seatbelt, had not slept well the previous days, and three months earlier he had deliberately turned off the truck's electronic brake system.

On the evening of January 25, 2017, when Taukava approached a right-hand bend in the road, the truck, which had a speed limit of 90 km / h, passed the center line and collided with a motorcyclist who killed him.

The truck pulled against a diver and drove up the road, pivoting between the north and south lanes and collided and slid past a dike and came to a standstill in a position of a knife.

Nineteen months after Napier motorcyclist Te Wanehi Wakefield, 56, lost his life in the crash, Taukava was imprisoned for two months and 10 months for manslaughter and disqualified for driving for four months from the day of release.

Justice Edwin Wylie yesterday condemned Taukava at the Supreme Court in Rotorua on a charge of manslaughter by driving dangerously, two allegations of making a false statement in a logbook, and a charge each of which was unable to deliver a logbook to an employer and do not imitate 10 hours of rest.

His penalties said that Taukava was on his way from the Coromandel to Nelson. He was in the final phase of what would become a three-day trip.

"You did not get enough rest and you did not sleep more than a few hours at a given time, often in your truck."

The notes explain that Taukava had tried to slow down the truck using the engine retarder that is generally not used in wet road conditions.

"Your actions were a major departure from the standard care expected from a reasonably cautious truck driver because you drove downhill and in wet conditions with extreme speed.

"The [electronic braking] The system was shut down at the time of the accident that caused the death of Mr. Wakefield.

"You have acknowledged that the retarder should never be used in the rain because it could be" deadly "."

Taukava's log violations were found after the police began investigating the collision and discovered contradictions and false statements in the book.

Justice Wylie said that Taukava was truly repentant, but had numerous offenses against speeding offenses in a heavy motor vehicle.

Taukava had received three notices about infringements to drive too fast in 2013 alone.

"It is clear that you have not learned the lesson that driving too fast in a vehicle, let alone a heavy truck, is reckless and dangerous," Wylie said in his notes.

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