Farmer’s close shave with tanker

Jono Galuszka



Stuff NZ Newspapers


A farmer is lucky he did not badly injure himself or a passenger after he pulled out in front of a milk tanker, a court has heard. James Lwellyn Brennan pleaded guilty in the Dannevirke District Court yesterday to drink-driving and careless driving. A 32-year-old from the small Hawke’s Bay settlement of Flemington, he is listed as a farmer on court documents. He committed the offences on December 3 on State Highway 2 at Norsewood. He failed to give way at an intersection, which led to his vehicle colliding with a Fonterra tanker. No-one was injured, but he gave a reading of 734 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 250mcg. Duty lawyer Darren Foster said Brennan, who had no previous convictions, did not regularly drink and drive. ‘‘He said he made a silly call.’’ The tanker sustained minor damage, Foster said. The hardest part of the sentence would be losing his licence. Brennan needed one for work and now knew drink-driving put both his job and other people at risk, Foster said. Judge Stephanie Edwards said Brennan probably put himself at more risk than the driver of the tanker when he failed to give way. He committed two errors of judgment; failing to give way and drinking and driving. ‘‘You are fortunate that you weren’t seriously hurt.’’ The passenger was also fortunate to escape harm, the judge said. Brennan was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for six months. Jayde Clarke-Trudgeon also pleaded guilty in the Dannevirke District Court yesterday to offences related to poor driving while impaired by substances. Her offences – careless driving, possession of cannabis and drinking under the influence of a drug – took place in Palmerston North in September. Foster, who also represented Clarke-Trudgeon, said she had just got a job so was able to pay the $1079.91 reparation. She was sentenced to six months’ supervision and disqualified from driving for six months.