Monday, October 7, 2013

Trial over unborn baby's death begins

Bililigne Gebretsadik in on trial over the death of his partner's unborn child
A taxi driver has gone on trial in connection with a crash that caused his pregnant wife to lose her unborn baby.

Bililigne Gebretsadik, 41, was arrested after a crash at a three-road intersection in Newtown, Wellington in June 2012.

Gebretsadik was driving his wife Seble Cherie at the time. She was 31 weeks pregnant and injured in the collision. The couple's baby died following an emergency caesarean.

He has denied one charge of careless driving causing death, and two charges of careless driving causing injury.

The hearing, before Judge Tom Broadmore at Wellington District Court, heard confusion around multiple sets of traffic light may have been a factor in the crash.

First witness Sheronika Singh, who driving the other vehicle involved in the accident, told the court she had a green light to pass through the intersection of Adelaide Rd, John St and Riddiford St.

However, in a recorded interview with police just over a month after the crash, Mrs Singh was previously unsure about which light she was looking at.
In the interview excerpt, played in court during cross-examination, Mrs Singh was presented with photos of the intersection which had several sets of traffic lights on it.

She was asked by the officer in charge of the case, detective sergeant Martin Todd, to identify which light signals she had been looking at.

"I think I was looking at that one. I'm not 100 per cent sure I'm sorry," she replied.

The video also showed Mrs Singh being surprised to learn there were at least three sets of lights she could have been looking at for the intersection.

Despite this, the mother-of-two maintained she would have been looking at the traffic light set closest to her, rather than those further down Adelaide Rd.

Gebretsadik's lawyer Kerrin Eckersley also asked Mrs Singh about a comment she allegedly made immediately after the accident about seeing a red light and being unable to stop.

"I don't remember or recall that," Mrs Singh said.

The trial has been set down for several days.

Ms Cherie is expected to give evidence later this week.