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Thursday 2 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Court, National


Pick-up truck driver granted  bail in fatal motorcycle crash

Alcohol has been ruled out as a contributing factor in the case of a pick-up truck driver who is alleged to have struck a 60-year-old motorcyclist causing her death on April 17.

Tearoa Mare, who is facing a charge of dangerous driving causing death, appeared before Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro at the Criminal Court in Avarua yesterday.

Mare was granted bail after defence lawyer Mark Short made submissions arguing that his client was not intoxicated at the time of the accident and is the only breadwinner for his family.

Short submitted a letter of support from Mare’s employers which stated that the defendant manages a fleet of boats including fishing charters.

Police prosecutor senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo did not oppose bail and asked that the accused surrender his passport and not interfere with police witnesses.

Tararo said that disclosures would be given to the defence. Following that, a plea is expected, and the matter would then be transferred to the Chief Justice court.

JP Taoro granted bail and adjourned the matter to May 16.

Mare was ordered to surrender his passport, not to leave Cook Islands without the court’s approval, report to Police headquarters every Friday between 6pm-7pm and not to interfere with police witnesses.

The defendant was arrested on Monday and remanded in prison until yesterday.

On the morning of the incident, police were called to the scene at 7.24am by the airport, near the RSA (Returned Services Association) building.

The motorcyclist, a 60-year-old woman, was travelling towards town when she was struck. She died from severe injuries sustained in the crash. Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt earlier confirmed this was the country’s first road fatality.