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Cyclist killed by elderly female drunk driver

Sunday 20 Sep 2009 5:40p.m.

Cyclist killed by elderly female drunk driver

By Demelza Leslie

The death of a cyclist near Otaki has prompted calls for mandatory manslaughter charges for drink drivers who kill on our roads.

New dad 46-year-old Frank van Kampen was cycling on a bike lane on state highway one at Te Horo when he was hit and killed by an elderly driver who had allegedly been drinking.

Ron Chatters is still in shock having witnessed the death of a close friend and work colleague by a woman driver he says had clearly been drinking.

“She was driving like an idiot, she was diabolical,” he says.

Mr van Kampen was cycling home from work on Friday afternoon when he was hit from behind.

The 46-year-old was a popular school teacher at Kapanui Primary School in Waikanae and had recently become a father.

Mr Chatters says the pensioner who drove into him should not be allowed behind the wheel again.

“She should be charged with manslaughter, I know she's 70 years old but that's no excuse,” he says.

3 News understands the 70-year-old woman blew twice the legal alcohol limit.

Police have suspended her license and say she is likely to face charges once the serious crash unit finishes its investigation.

Peter Jenkins of the Sensible Sentencing Trust says it is pushing for changes in the law making manslaughter charges mandatory for drink drivers who kill.

“The person has made a deliberate decision then result in the death of an innocent person,” he says.

Rebecca Williams of Alcohol Healthwatch says young people have picked up the message about drink-driving but it seems to be missing a generation.

Those taught by Mr van Kampen say he will be sorely missed.

A funeral date has not been decided yet but Kapanui Primary School says it is keen to be involved in any way it can.

3 News



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