Bike smash wrecks romantic holiday

Friday October 27, 2017 Written by Published in Local
An Australian man and his wife are left counting the cost, after a motorcycle accident left one in hospital and the other in a police holding cell. 17102520 An Australian man and his wife are left counting the cost, after a motorcycle accident left one in hospital and the other in a police holding cell. 17102520

A romantic tropical holiday ended badly for an Australian couple this week, after an accident landed one in hospital, and the other in the police cells. 

 

The married pair were driving from town towards Muri at around 10pm on Tuesday night when they were involved in an accident on the main road in Tupapa.

Though it is still under investigation, police say alcohol was a factor in the smash, which left a bike rammed into the hedge of a house beside the beach.

The loud bang when the bike hit the hedge startled people in neighbouring homes.

Driver Craig Newton was left without major injuries, but his wife sustained broken bones and required medical attention.

After a resident notified police and emergency services of the accident, Newton’s wife was transported to hospital by ambulance and Newtown was taken to police headquarters for questioning and a breathalyser test.

The test showed Newton was over the legal breath/alcohol limit and he was detained for the night.

He appeared in the Avarua High Court on Wednesday charged with driving with excess breath alcohol, and was advised to seek legal aid due to the prospect of further charges being laid. 

Newton asked if he could just pay his fine and leave, as he had a plane to catch.

However, Justice of the Peace John Whitta told him police would need additional time to finish their investigations and finalise the charges. He told Newton he would have to stay on Rarotonga till his court appearance on Thursday of next week, and surrender his passport.

A clearly frustrated Newton told the court he needed to tend to his wife who had spent the night in hospital, while he had been detained in a police holding cell.

Cook Islands Police media liaison officer Trevor Pitt told CINews there was a serious lesson to be learned from the ordeal.

“Not only have they ended their trip on a bad note, but it will make for a very expensive holiday now.”

The costs for visitors using medical services in the Cook Islands are hefty. A fee of $800 is charged for any non-Cook Islands residents who require ambulance transport, while another $100 is charged for overnight care at the hospital. X-rays cost around $50.

Pitt said that on top of this, the couple would be required to pay for considerable damage to the scooter they had been driving.

The Ministry of Health also required reparations for services provided said Pitt, who added the pair would not be allowed to leave the Cook Islands until all medical and legal costs had been paid.

If convicted, Newton could face charges of up to $1000, or jailed for up to 12 months on the single charge of driving with excess breath alcohol.

It was suggested in court on Wednesday that the defendant may additionally be charged with careless driving causing injury.

There will be no insurance payout for damage to the bike, as alcohol was involved in the accident.

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