The father of the newborn that died following a tragic car crash has admitted he wants to leave the incident behind. Photo: File.

Father’s grace after guilty plea


The father of a newborn baby who died after a drunk man crashed into the car carrying him and his pregnant partner has spoken of his hope that something good can come from the horrifying incident.

Andrew Fleming, 47, last week pleaded guilty, via video link in the Nelson District Court, to all charges relating to the April 30 accident on Waimea Rd.

The parents of the boy, who cannot be named due to a suppression order, were driving home from a friend’s house when they saw headlights before it slammed head-on into their car.

The expectant mother was rushed to Nelson Hospital where she was put under general anaesthetic and had her son via c-section at just 30-weeks.

The next morning the mother and her son were flown to Wellington Hospital but over the course of five days, he deteriorated. Results of an MRI scan showed that there was severe bleeding on his brain and he wouldn’t survive.

The baby died just five days after he was born.

The father now wants to leave the incident behind him.

“I’m just glad it’s all over and [Fleming’s] now somewhere he can think about it all. I hope his life choices change dramatically and something good can come from this.”

Fleming appeared via AVL link from Invercargill on charges of driving with excess blood alcohol causing death and two charges of driving with excess blood alcohol causing injury.

He answered guilty to all charges.

At a previous appearance in the Nelson District Court, he had entered not guilty pleas and elected a trial by jury.

The courtroom heard how he had two previous convictions for driving with excess breath alcohol and on the night of the crash his blood alcohol level was 255mg per litre of blood, the legal limit is 50.

Defence lawyer Tony Bamford requested Fleming be remanded on bail until his sentencing date. This was to allow him time to revisit his medical consultants to deal with the ongoing effects of the crash.

Judge Tony Zohrab responded that medical help would be available to Fleming in prison, which was the only appropriate option due to the nature of the offending.

“I’m told you’ve had some issues in terms of the crash … the offending took place in April and in my view appropriate medical help will be available to you in prison.”

Fleming was remanded in custody to be sentenced on December 20.