Maungatapu fatal crash driver jailed

Nicole Marie Reynolds in the dock at the District Court at Tauranga today.Photo: Andrew Campbell.

A Mount Maunganui woman who drove into three people, killing two and seriously injuring the third has been sentenced to prison.

Nicole Marie Reynolds, 40, was sentenced to three years and six months when she appeared in the District Court at Tauranga this afternoon.

The sentencing comes after she had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of drug impaired driving causing death and one charge of drug impaired driving causing injury at SH29 Maungatapu on July 29 last year.

She told police she didn't know she had hit someone until her windscreen smashed.

A blood test found Reynolds was driving under the influence of methadone, a Class B drug, and the class C drugs Lorazepam and Clonazepam.

A witness told police Reynolds' vehicle was swerving within its lane and travelling at 85km/h in the 100km/h zone shortly before she struck the people who were changing a flat tyre.

The impact of the crash killed Kenny McCrae, 52, and Leigh Antoinette Rhodes, 60.

Leigh was standing near the rear of the vehicle waving a white wheel cover to alert traffic to the two men changing the rear tyre.

Reynolds struck Leigh, throwing her 30 metres from where she was standing and then struck Kenny, and Leigh's partner Lance Carter.

Leigh died a short time later and Kenny died at the scene.

Judge Ingram says under New Zealand law as set down by Parliament Reynolds has accepted responsibility, and expressed remorse for her decision to drive under the influence of drugs. She pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and has no previous convictions.

Reynolds had finished work and was travelling at about 85km/h in a 100km/h zone on SH 29A. Her vehicle was seen weaving in the lane before she struck the people on the side of the road.

She said at the scene that she was unaware she had hit anyone until her windsreen shattered.

“What was clear was that you were affected by something,” says Judge Ingram. A blood test found Reynolds was driving under the influence of methadone, Lorazepam and Clonazepam. Reynolds is on the methadone programme.

On an alcohol scale the Judge says he views the sentencing situation similarly to a high level drink driving sentencing.

He's heard all too many victim impact statements on the impacts the deaths have on the families of the victims.

“Every death is an appalling tragedy for the families of those involved,” says the judge.

The charge has a ten year maximum but the sentence is not a weighing of the cost of a life, says the judge.

Reynolds is also disqualified from driving for five years.



Posted on 23-04-2017 14:44 | By Heavy Haulage

Sunlive allows users to have a display name. Its well within the rules. You dont make the rules so get over it. Learn to play the ball not the man....

Lets tolerate a wide range of views folks

Posted on 08-04-2017 13:44 | By Papamoaner

Some of the comments on here are more about revenge than justice, balance or compassion. Who wants to be part of the mob baring their fangs and lusting for blood ? In olden days it was public hangings and beheadings that dare I say it, brought pleasure and entertainment to a mob of "good people" She has made a terrible mistake, not committed a deliberate planned attack. She has a huge burden of guilt to live with and it won't be easy. In court, the judge is the only person with knowledge from all angles. We should respect that. As to comments about her facial expression - just plain nasty! I saw sadness and bewilderment.

Heavy Haulage.

Posted on 31-03-2017 13:38 | By R. Bell

Your comment is equally unbelievable. Mariana expresses a legitimate point of view. One full of concern and compassion for all concerned, you do not. The Judge gave a sensible sentence, and would have taken note of Probation and drug council. The fact is this woman should not be driving whilst on the Methadone program. She is sick, drug addiction is a sickness, the sooner society accepts that the sooner we can deal to all the symptoms of it, including driving under the influence. As for having balls, you do have a name I presume, use it. Robin Bell.


Posted on 30-03-2017 21:16 | By Heavy Haulage

Your comments are unbelievable... Obviously they were not your family members that were murdered here otherwise your opinion would be totally different. You would not have the balls to say what you have typed here to the family of the victims like you have brazenly typed here. This lady did not make one mistake. She made a series of bad mistakes knowing full well what the ultimate price could be but obviously did not care.

She made a terrible mistake with massive consequences

Posted on 28-03-2017 14:30 | By Mariana

Wow people are so hard of heart. She made a mistake - a huge one with massive consequences. What has been done can't be undone. Are you all angels that NEVER do something wrong? This lady had a job - she was not a leach on society or a criminal robbing dairies. Maybe she even has a family to care for. My hope is she will come out of serving her legitimate sentence as a clean and sober member of society, ready to lead a productive life. Of course she is guilty and two people had died, one injured and my heart goes out to all affected, but sending her to prison (on taxpayer funding) for 10 years or life long can not change that and will not change society in the least.

This is obscene

Posted on 28-03-2017 14:17 | By comfortablynumb

So that is 18 months for the murder of Kenny, 18 months for the murder of Leigh and 6 months for the attempted murder of Lance !And she will be out of prison with her smirking face long before those sentences are completed.Shame on the judge - should have got 20 years and no parole - pathetic!

Were is the remorse?

Posted on 28-03-2017 14:15 | By Peaches

She looks mighty smug!!!


Posted on 28-03-2017 12:09 | By Peaches

Wow you might as well go kill anyone You hate, you won't do much time!!!I can see killings getting out of hand if this is what you get, nothing stopping it.If I was the Judge I would have give 25 years and serve the full sentence as it is so deserved for killing to lovely people and maiming another plus all the poor families and friends grieving.Do the crime do the time!!!!!

Wth! - Really?!?

Posted on 28-03-2017 07:03 | By Linaire

Three years and six months?!? Absolutely pathetic! I guess she will only actually serve half her sentence? Useless! What a screwed up justice system we have!!

Not Even a joke !!

Posted on 27-03-2017 23:26 | By StevieB

This is a disgrace !! When will this pathetic judicial system of ours stop favouring the criminals & instead impose proper & meaningful sentences on those who make a conscious choice to drink up / drug themselves up & then drive. The results of these deliberate actions are nothing short of criminal & it's time that FULL & MAXIMUM sentences be imposed. SHAME SHAME SHAME. It's a mockery of what should be a 'Justice System'. This is nothing like Justice. Please grow some nuts & apply the maximum sentence allowed by law rather than reducing it 'cos the criminal put a sad face on. To let them off a full sentence is disrespectful to those innocent folk who have been killed. BE ASHAMED NZ !!

murder by lethal weapon :

Posted on 27-03-2017 21:36 | By mike harman

This judge needs to wake up and throw the max sentence at her with no parole for at least 20 yrs. she has committed a double murder using a lethal weapon.I agree with alot of others if it had been the judges family or friends things would have been different.This lady killed two innocent people so should be treated as a double homicide . by Mike Harman

Judge Joke

Posted on 27-03-2017 19:16 | By sangrae

What on earth was Justice Ingram thinking of she should have been given 10years the mandatory sentence with at least 8yrs before parole.The Judge needs to take a long hard look at what he has said and done the Justice system is a farce hope the Police or someone appeals this decision.


Posted on 27-03-2017 19:00 | By Appalling

What a joke! Another fine example of our (in)justice system. Loving thoughts with the affected families

just a joke

Posted on 27-03-2017 18:34 | By missusmck

if this woman had pulled a gun on these people and shot them dead she would have got life for murder so what's the difference she got behind the wheel of a car and murdered two good innocent peoplethe only reason she shows remorse was that she got caughtanother drain on the taxpayer and a leach on societyIf it was one of our mp's family the laws would be changed immediately

NZ justice Nil

Posted on 27-03-2017 18:24 | By Arkryt

I agree with all, should be min 10yrs which I would say this case holds a max of but they always start around the 3 to 5 yr mark than take the discounts of. She will only have to serve 1/2 of the time, but look at it another way a tourists can kill two people pay a few dollars and go home so she has been given a good sentence. Our laws need a complete overhaul for all car accidents and start giving appropriate sentences to all.

Agree with all comments so far

Posted on 27-03-2017 18:01 | By The Sage

Taffy you hit the nail on the head...if it had been that Judge's wife, things would have been different. Two lives lost and one seriously impaired due to injuries. The sentence doesn't come close.

Judges Comment

Posted on 27-03-2017 17:34 | By Taffy

I have just read the comments made by the judge in this case refer TVNZ. 1News Now.In which it quotes "Judge Thomas Ingram told the court he would not be swayed by the victim impact statements in regard to the length of the sentence."I,ll bet if it was his wife it would be a different matter.!


Posted on 27-03-2017 17:24 | By Ness

those family's must feel disappointed this a joke your are a murderer lady and should have got a lot longer - bloody drugs

Where,s the Justice

Posted on 27-03-2017 17:08 | By Taffy

What is the Maximum sentence for this offence?Even giving some allowance for a guilty plea what could she have been given?Secondly Three & Half years and presumably she is liable for parole (no mention that she has to serve the full sentence) if that is the case it is a JOKE!!!.I hope the police appeal the sentence she should have got atleast 10 years with no parole.


Posted on 27-03-2017 16:26 | By chipshop

What a disgrace where's the justice in that they should throw away the key!

Obscene sentence!

Posted on 27-03-2017 16:14 | By nerak

Is that some sort of a smirk on the drug addict's face? It makes me sick to my stomach, she kills two people, undoubtedly changing the lives of many others forever, she injures another, again no doubt a life irrevocably changed, and she gets less than a slap on the wrist. Why should she not be locked far away for life? The law is indeed an ass.

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