Northland driver admits causing death of pregnant young Moerewa woman while four times over alcohol limit

A Northlandman has admitted causing the death of a pregnant young woman after crashing into a parked car while almost four times over the drink-drive limit.

Ioakimi Sale, 43, of Moerewa, pleaded guilty in the Kaikohe District Court on Friday to driving with excess breath alcohol causing the death of 18-year-old Nga Roimata Beattie-Rihari.

Beattie-Rihari had been sitting in a car parked on Mason Ave, Moerewa, when it was hit from behind by Sale’s vehicle about 7.45pm on April 19 this year.

Sale had been travelling at speed and was on the wrong side of the road when the crash occurred.

Both Beattie-Rihari and her unborn baby, Pryncess Diana, were killed in the impact.

Her vehicle was shunted backwards into a concrete power pole while Sale’s vehicle mounted the kerb and came to rest against a house. Sale then fled the scene.

The court heard Sale blew a breath-alcohol level of 942 micrograms per litre, almost four times the legal limit of 250mcg/l, when he was located by police.

Sale also pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident without checking if anyone was injured, and to breaching an order under the Health Act to isolate at home.

The crash occurred during the level 4 Covid-19 lockdown.

Sale, who appeared by audio-visual link in a prison-issue green T-shirt, was further remanded in custody until December 17 when he is expected to be sentenced.

Judge John McDonald set aside that entire afternoon for victims to read their impact statements.

Sale had originally denied all three charges and had been due to stand trial next year.

He was earlier granted name suppression but that has since lapsed. The court heard Sale had at least two previous driving convictions.

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