14 Sep 2011

Accused cannot recall detail of triple fatalilty

7:39 pm on 14 September 2011

Lawyers at a manslaughter trial in Wellington have hung their closing arguments on a teenage boy's ability to recall crucial moments leading up to an horrific road crash.

Worthy Redeemed faces 10 charges in the High Court after a car hit a bus in North Canterbury in May last year, killing three young people including the car's 21-year-old driver.

Mr Redeemed, 39, who was the front seat passenger, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The prosecution alleges Mr Redeemed yanked the steering wheel and caused the car to collide head-on with the oncoming bus. He told detectives he could not recall anything of the incident.

In closing on Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said the evidence of the sole teenage survivor, Reece Dick, was reliable and accurate.

Ms Boshier said the moment when Mr Redeemed grabbed the wheel would be seared into his mind.

The defence argues the memory has been confused with a driving incident involving Mr Redeemed on another day that didn't prove fatal.

Detective Aaron George told the court of interviews in which Mr Redeemed said he didn't remember anything of the day nor how the crash happened.

The accused told police he had no idea why the car veered into the path of the bus, and said it was impossible that he had grabbed the wheel.

But Mr Redeemed conceded it was possible he had consumed alcohol in the hours before the crash, and also possible he had then behaved stupidly.