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After a lengthy investigation, a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) employee will be sentenced in March for killing a motorcyclist after turning in front of him at the intersection of Rangiotu Road and Rangitane Road near Palmerston North.
The NZTA employee Laura Amy Brown was found to have a learner license for nine years, including driving without learner plates or a fully licensed driver. Laura worked at NZTA for 18 months in the vehicle licensing department.
Laura Amy Brown failed to keep her identity hidden after the crash, as a result of death, it went to the courts. Laura defended having a name suppression because it would make Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) look bad in terms of her situation of having a learner license for so long. Her employer had suggested she would lose her job if her name was revealed to the public according to an affidavit.
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The Judge, Bruce Northwood, rejected the protection of name suppression for Laura at Palmerston North District Court on Tuesday. It was noted that the name suppression only lasted until Tuesday since the crash happened.
The investigation by Police determined when the name suppression would ultimately continue or expire.
Police were notified at around 6:25 am on August 6 of a crash involving a car and a motorcycle.
Lance Bell, who was the occupant riding the motorbike, died when Laura suddenly turned in front of him coming southbound from Palmerston North towards Rangiotu.
Laura admitted she saw Lance’s headlights on his motorcycle, but thought she had plenty of time. After preparing to turn in the right turning bay on to Rangiotu Road, the distance was not calculated right, and while turning, she crashed into Lance who was occupying the motorbike.
The crash resulted in damage to the front passenger side of Laura’s Toyota, the crash caused Lance’s front motorbike wheel and steering bars to rip off. It was noted according to the courts that Lance was travelling between 44km and 68km when the crash occurred.
After the crash happened, people travelling in both directions parked and rushed to the scene to help Lance, who was going in and out of being consciousness. He later became unresponsive at the hospital due to his serious injuries as a result of the crash. Lance died in hospital during that afternoon after medical professionals tried to revive him.
Lance’s partner who has pushed for this to happen had lots of support from locals, family and her friends.
All information in this article was supplied to thisquality from anonymous sources, including information about court details (some are public records that were used to source information).