12 Oct 2016

Call to keep truck driver off the road after second cyclist's death

8:58 pm on 12 October 2016

A truck driver whose careless driving killed two cyclists should never be able to hold a licence again, the sister of one of his victims says.

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A judge suggested the inquest into Ming-Chih Hsieh's death look at whether cameras should be installed on trucks to eliminate blind spots. Photo: cyclist, road bike, cycle lane,

David Connell was yesterday sentenced to a curfew and 200 hours community work for careless driving causing the death of Taiwanese tourist Ming-Chih Hsieh in Christchurch in 2014.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay $7000 in reparation to the victim's family.

Mr Hsieh's death came nine years after Connell was found guilty of the same charge for driving his truck into Stephen Avery on the Kapiti Coast.

Judge Gary MacAskill yesterday rejected a police submission that Connell should be given a three-month prison term for Mr Hsieh's death, saying Connell had shown remorse.

But Mr Avery's sister, Lesley, told Checkpoint with John Campbell her family never heard from Connell with any expression of remorse after the earlier death.

She said her brother had always cycled to work from Paraparaumu to Upper Hutt for work, and would be lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Not very colour co-ordinated and he would wear the brightest, fluoro-est clothing."

Ms Avery said when Connell hit her brother, who was riding to the left of the road and not in the car lane, his helmet became embedded in the front grill of his truck.

She did not wish any harm on Connell but she did not believe he should be allowed to hold a licence again, or work with big machinery, she said.

"He might say 'well this is my livelihood', well I'm sorry, my brother doesn't have a livelihood, my niece doesn't have a dad and I don't have a brother.

"He can find some other form of work but not behind a truck."

During Connell's sentencing for the death of Mr Hsieh, Judge MacAskill said an inquest should investigate installing cameras on truck and trailer units, to eliminate blind spots.

Taiwanese tourist Ming-Chih Hsieh died after a truck turned into his path at a busy Christchurch intersection.

Taiwanese tourist Ming-Chih Hsieh died at a busy Christchurch intersection in 2014. Photo: Facebook

But Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley said there was no evidence to suggest blind spot cameras reduced fatalities, and suggested better education of drivers was required.

Mr Shirley said the long-term solution was better education for cyclists and drivers about blind spots on truck and trailer units.

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