Queenstown woman gets home detention for deadly crash

Source: 1News

A Queenstown woman has been sentenced to four-and-a-half months home detention and ordered to pay emotional harm payment after a crash that killed a young teenager and injured another.

Tully Isabel Robinson, 22, appeared in the Queenstown District Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to two charges of aggravated driving causing death and aggravated driving causing injury.

Robinson is the sister of Olympic skier Alice Robinson.

The two car-crash happened on Malaghans Road near Arrowtown at around 9.20pm on August 22, 2020.

Allanah Megan Walker, 17, who was the passenger in the on-coming car was killed, while the driver, Astin Anthony Caldwell, suffered serious injuries.

Robinson was using Facebook Messenger and had a blood alcohol reading of 56mg when the incident happened. The legal limit is 50mg.

She was also speeding at between 108km/h and 112km/h before crossing the centre line.

Walker and Caldwell were coming back from a day trip in Wanaka.

Robinson was also ordered to pay $20,000 emotional harm to Astin Caldwell and $15,000 to Allanah’s family.

She is also disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Robinson was in Sydney studying when police completed their investigation into the crash and moved to lay charges.

Once Robinson returned to New Zealand earlier this year, she was formally charged.

Judge Brandts-Giesen asked for the courtroom to stand at the beginning of the hearing for a moment silence to honour the death of Allanah and injuries sustained by Astin.

Walker’s mother, Sarah Walker, clutched a framed photo of her daughter, Allanah Walker, in the public gallery.

The family suffered an earlier tragedy when Allanah’s father was electrocuted on a Kaikoura farm eight years ago.

Robinson was wearing a mask but showed emotion while, Sarah Walker, read out an impact statement, wiping a tear from her eyes.

The court heard an impact sentence read out on behalf of Astin Caldwell that he was a plumbing apprentice had arrived in Queenstown a short time and had “been a rocky road since this all happened.”

In a statement read out by on behalf of Robinson, defence counsel, Kerry Cook, said Tully wished to “publicly apologise” and was remorseful for what happened.

Judge Brandts-Giesen told Robinson: “You are still young, I recognise your youth… you were speeding, you were driving a large heavy vehicle… you were well over the limit on an open road".

The injuries to Allanah were fatal, while Astin's were severe and required rehabilitation including the mental rehabilitation.

And he lost a young woman he loved.