Judge orders minute’s silence for woman killed in Southland car crash
Kerryn Christopher Patterson, 19, was convicted in Gore District Court after causing the death of Vanessa McNatty in a car crash.
- The driver was on his learner’s license when he caused an accident
- Judge asks for minute’s silence during Gore’s sentencing
A judge has called for a minute’s silence during the sentencing of a young man who killed Vanessa McNatty and injured three in a car crash in Southland.
Kerryn Christopher Patterson, 19, of Invercargill appeared in Gore District Court on Wednesday before Judge John Brandts-Giesen.
Patterson previously pleaded guilty to one charge of careless driving causing McNatty’s death and three charges of careless driving causing injury to her husband, Steven McNatty, Margaret Manson and Rylie Barrett.
The accident happened on the Tokanui-Gorge Rd highway between Fleming Rd and Chisholm Rd, in Fortrose, on August 7, 2021.
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Vanessa McNatty died 34 days after the crash from massive internal injuries. The other passengers suffered injuries including a torn gut, fractured limbs and a broken neck.
During sentencing, Judge Brandts-Giesen recognized the victims and their families in the courtroom and asked everyone to stand and observe a minute’s silence to show respect for the McNatty’s memoir.
The judge said distraction could not be ruled out as the cause of the crash, of which Patterson had no recollection.
Patterson was on his learner’s permit while driving an Audi vehicle on Tokanui-Gorge Rd in Fortrose in Southland on August 7. A front passenger in the car did not have a full license, so Patterson should not have driven.
His passenger warned him of a bend just over the Mataura River near Fleming Rd.
Patterson’s vehicle crossed the bridge and entered a moderate right-hand bend with a 75 km/h speed warning sign.
Halfway through the turn, Patterson’s passenger looked out the window and saw they were as far left as possible, and said he needed to slow down.
Three of the victims were in a Kia motor vehicle, driven by Margaret Manson, heading south towards Invercargill.
Patterson’s Audi came out of the corner, crossed the center line and collided with the Kia. His vehicle was estimated to be traveling between 83 and 87 km/h at the time, the judge said.
Members of the public, including a trained first responder, provided assistance at the scene and four of those involved were airlifted to hospital for treatment.
The judge said Patterson, who had never appeared in court before, should bear the burden of the tragedy for the rest of his life. He must rebuild and make a dignified life out of it, the judge said.
Patterson continued to have health issues after the accident; he had a stroke, multiple broken bones, a brain injury, and arm and leg problems affected his ability to work.
Defense attorney Roger Eagles said Patterson deeply regretted causing the death and injury, with the crash being due to loss of attention when the weather conditions were atrocious with heavy rain and sleet. hail. Despite the terrible conditions, visibility was relatively good, the judge said.
The judge sentenced Patterson to five months of house arrest, banned him from driving for 12 months and a day, to ensure he had to retake his license, and ordered him to take a defensive driving course before to drive again.
He also ordered Patterson to pay $4,000 to Steven McNatty and $2,000 to Manson, two of the injured in the other car.