Drunk driver who caused crash that killed midwife on her way to work sentenced to five years' imprisonment

A drunk driver who killed a midwife on her way to work has been sentenced to prison, after the court heard heartbreaking impact statements from his victim's family. 

Canterbury midwife and mother-of-two Tai Dixon was heading to Christchurch Hospital when Daryl Price crashed into her in June last year. 

In the High Court in Christchurch on Thursday Price was sentenced to five years' and two months imprisonment, after pleading guilty to manslaughter and driving with excess blood alcohol earlier this year.

Statements by Dixon's now five and seven-year-old daughters, read out by husband and dad Scott Dixon, spoke of the "bad man" who killed their mum.

One daughter said she missed her mum rubbing her back at night, which made her feel safe.

"I really miss the love mummy would give us.

"Mummy was always very kind and lovely to everybody."

In his own statement, Scott said the couple was due to celebrate their eight-year anniversary.

"Tai loved her daughters deeply," he told the court.

"She worked to be a great mother, reading widely about how to be the best mother. She is denied the joy of attending her girl's weddings.

"Since she was killed all these significant milestones have turned to darkness - I believe this will continue for the rest of our lives."

The defendant became emotional when Tai's sister, Megan Hartley, spoke directly to him saying she hoped he used the event to change his life.

"Be kind, love your family, please don't take your life for granted because Tai doesn't get to live hers."

Justice Rob Osbourne described Price's behaviour as seriously selfish.

At Queen's Birthday weekend last year, Justice Osbourne said Price was in Christchurch for an indoor cricket competition. After the tournament had finished, he went to a bar to socialise.

Price stayed at the bar for an hour-and-a-half and had between three and four drinks. He was offered a ride by a friend who was concerned about him driving, but he refused and drove himself to Robbie's Sports Bar on Christchurch's Riccarton Rd.

Justice Osbourne said Price became loud and obnoxious and was refused service. One of his friends became worried about him when Price said he was driving home to Fairlie - over two hours south of Christchurch.

Price left the bar and went to his car, where he sat in the drivers' seat and smoked a substance. He then drove out of the car park, narrowly missing parked cars.

It was on Sandy Knolls Rd, just south of Christchurch, where he crossed the centreline and crashed into Tai's car head-on.

Jeff McCaull, Price's defence lawyer, told the court Price had shown genuine remorse to him since being assigned the case earlier this year.

But in his closing statement, Justice Osbourne said: "I could not find you entitled to any discount for remorse."