Sentencing for drinkdriver who caused fatal Te Puke crash delayed

Sentencing for drink-driver Tugu Wilson, 30, whose car crashed into a garage in Te Puke, leaving two of his passengers dead was adjourned in Tauranga District Court yesterday.Photo / Georg Novak

The case of a man who drove after downing three shots and cider, killing two of his passengers, has been adjourned.

Tugu Wilson, 30, lost control of the Kia he was driving on June 30 and it crashed into a two-vehicle garage on residential property in No 1 Rd, Te Puke. The crash killed seasonal kiwifruit workers Barry Tari, 24, and Hamsen Surai, 32, from Vanuatu.

Wilson appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday.

In August, Wilson admitted to driving with 141 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system at the time of the crash. The adult legal limit is 80 milligrams.

Both Tari and Surai were dead when emergency services staff arrived, and the front seat passenger sustained minor injuries.

Wilson told police he had drunk three shots and some Scrumpy cider.

His lawyer Drisana Sheely urged Judge John McDonald to adjourn sentencing to allow community probation to allow Sheely to explore possible home detention options.

Wilson’s offending was within the home detention range of less than two years’ prison, notwithstanding the devastating impact of the crash, Sheely said.

Wilson’s supporters, seated in the public gallery, had gone to “significant lengths” to come up with possible options but that information was not yet before the court, she said.

Crown prosecutor Oliver Salt said prison was the appropriate outcome but said he could not oppose Sheely’s request for sentencing to be adjourned.

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