Emotional scenes as teen driver in fatal ute flipping gets home detention

The teenage driver of a ute which rolled on a beach, killing an Auckland schoolboy, has been sentenced to home detention on Tuesday.

There were emotional scenes as the court heard 18-year-old Regan Baxter was dangerously driving the Toyota Hilux that crashed at Rothesay Bay on the North Shore late on June 23.

Several people were in the vehicle or on the tray when it was reportedly doing doughnuts on the beach before it rolled.

Seven people were injured - including 17-year-old Rangitoto College student Robbie Cederwall. He was taken to Auckland Hospital, where he died three days later.

Crash victim Robbie Cederwall.
Crash victim Robbie Cederwall. Photo credit: Supplied

Baxter fled the scene before returning. In July he pleaded guilty to four charges of excess breath alcohol, dangerous driving causing death and injury, and failing to stop to ascertain injury.

Robbie's parents spoke of the impact the loss of their son has had on them. His father, Tony Cederwall, said Robbie's death was his worst nightmare and will haunt him forever.

He asked why Baxter would drive drunk with eight people and why he left Robbie to suffer on the beach after the accident.

Handing down the sentence, the judge said it was a "tragic case". He added that Baxter had caused enormous harm but he didn't need to aggravate the sentence.

"It is tempting in a case like this [to] look at you and put all the blame on your shoulders and to ignore the reality of what happened on that night," he said.

"This will stay with you for the rest of your life. Nothing this court can do can bring Robbie back... home detention and community work is appropriate."

He sentenced Baxter to one year home detention, 200 hours community work and disqualified him from driving for two years, starting immediately.


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