30 Sep 2009

Truck driver found guilty of causing officer's death

7:35 pm on 30 September 2009

A truck driver has been found guilty of careless driving causing the death of a high-ranking police officer who was cycling home from work.

Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald died in June last year after his bike and a container truck driven by Desmond Wilson collided in the Lower Hutt suburb of Petone.

Mr Fitzgerald, 57, was cycling from his workplace at Wellington police headquarters to his home in Eastbourne when he was hit approaching a roundabout on the Petone Esplanade.

Judge Tom Broadmore heard that Mr Fitzgerald was an experienced cyclist and was wearing high-visibility clothing at the time of the accident.

At a defended hearing, the judge concluded that Wilson, 45, diverted his attention from the road for a vital few seconds and that Mr Fitzgerald was well able to be seen.

Wilson will be sentenced at a later date. The offence carries a maximum sentence of three months' jail, or a fine not exceeding $4,500.