HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

A year after Masterton woman Stacey Kyle was severely injured in a hit-and-run, a judge has finally delivered a measure of relief to the family.

On June 20 last year, the mother-of-two was crossing Te Ore Ore Rd in Masterton with her seven-year-old son, Bailey, on their way to a karate lesson, when she was struck by a car.

She hit the road unconscious and was airlifted to Wellington Hospital with serious injuries.

Bailey escaped serious injury but received a few cuts and scratches.

Chantel Leonie Bourke, 29, of Masterton, was driving the car that hit Stacey.

She fled the scene.

In Masterton District Court on Tuesday, Stacey and her husband, Daniel, told Judge Ian Mill that the accident had taken a massive toll on their family – emotionally and financially.

The whole family had been present at the time of the incident, and they found it hard to fathom why the driver of the vehicle failed to stop.

Bourke originally pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed her plea during the court process.

Judge Mill sentenced Bourke on charges of causing injury by careless driving, and failing to ascertain injury after a crash.

Judge Mill convicted Bourke and disqualified her from driving for 12 months.

He also ordered an emotional harm payment of $1000 be made to the Kyle family.

Outside court, Daniel Kyle said Bourke’s initial denial of the charges delayed the court process and added hardship to what was already a traumatic time for his family.

Stacey Kyle said the reparation payment would cover a portion of her medical expenses, while her husband said he was out of pocket for the time he had taken off work to care for his wife and children.

Judge Mill said Bourke had been driving home at the time of the incident.

“You carried on and stalled in the hospital driveway and saw then, that there was a person lying on the road.

“Fortunately, there were others who could render assistance, but at no stage did you go back.

“You remained parked in the area for some time . . . but there was a duty for you to at least check the victim and identify yourself at the scene.”

It was a “very serious accident” in which the victim suffered head injuries, a concussion, and a broken arm that needed a plate to be inserted, among other injuries.

The judge said Bourke was remorseful and contacted police when she got home after the incident.

He said Bourke had “frozen” at the time of the collision, and a specialist report revealed why this may have been the case, however, he would not go into detail about this.

Judge Mill also took into account the defensive driving course she had completed, and the fact that she had written a letter of apology to the victim.

After the sentencing, Stacey Kyle, who is in her early 30s, said she was still recovering from her injuries but was “lucky to be alive”.

“It wasn’t my time to go.”