A Christchurch judge has apologised to the family of a 21-year-old killed in a drink-driving accident for how long it’s taken to sentence the driver.
Tyler Croll-Davis, 24, had been drinking and socialising at his Rakaia Gorge home in rural Mid Canterbury on September 1 last year with his friend David Muir when he took the fateful decision to drive.
They were heading east towards Ashburton on the State Highway 77-Methven Highway at about 1am in light rain when Croll-Davis lost control.
The Toyota Corona slid sideways and left the road, the court heard.
The left-hand side of the car smashed into a concrete fencepost that was supported by a large tree stump.
"The impact of that collision resulted in the immediate death of the passenger Mr Muir," the police summary of facts says.
Croll-Davis crawled out of the wreck and walked to a nearby farmhouse "where he sought medical assistance for himself".
When police caught up with him, he denied being the driver.
The farm worker said Muir, 21, was driving and that he had been the front-seat passenger and that there had been "a number of other people" in the car who he did not know.
Croll-Davis earlier pleaded guilty at Christchurch District Court to a charge of driving with excess alcohol causing death. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment. He also admitted three charges of driving while disqualified.
Today Judge Jane Farish sentenced him to three years, nine months' imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for five years.