Chinese driver's crash killed horse, seriously injured rider

Peng Wang in court
Peng Wang is on trial at North Shore District Court (Newshub.)

A 28-year-old Chinese national is on trial in the North Shore District Court charged with careless driving causing injury.

Peng Wang, who had been in New Zealand for a short time on a student visa in August 2016, is accused of driving into Newshub journalist Karen Rutherford, who was riding her horse on a road in Dairy Flat.

The crash killed Ms Rutherford's horse and left her with a degloved leg, a head injury and multiple broken bones and ribs. The horse, Curious George, died at the scene.

More than eight months later Ms Rutherford is still recovering from horrific injuries, including a de-gloved leg and difficulty with her memory. She can only work part-time, the court has heard.

Wednesday's witnesses include her daughter, 13-year-old Ella Rutherford, who was riding in front of Ms Rutherford when the crash happened.

She told the court the car Wang was driving did not show any sign of slowing as it headed towards them.

The car continued to hug the white line on the side of the road, she said.

"It was like the car was attached to the line. I started to gesture, the motion of 'move over' and I started yelling 'move over' and mum also motioning, but he didn't move over or slow."

Ella told the court as the car passed her she felt it hit the whip she was carrying.

"Then I heard a massive crash and I saw debris flying," she said.

She saw the horse hopping, took off her high-visibility vest and wrapped it around the horse's broken leg. She says she saw a few people were around Ms Rutherford.

After Wang hit Ms Rutherford, he kept driving, Ella said. "He didn't come out of the car for five minutes, then he was on his phone the whole time. He didn't come to see if me or mum was alright.

The trial continues.