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Taupo runaway trailer was unwarranted


Last updated 16:45, May 25 2016

Marie Hyslop was badly injured when hit by a rogue trailer in Taupo.

A rogue trailer that ploughed into a woman in Taupo should not have been on the road, court documents show.

Marie Hyslop was in Taupo for a Huey Lewis concert when her life was changed forever. 

On the morning of January 28, Hyslop was struck by the rogue trailer after it broke free from its towing vehicle on Lake Terrace.

The crash left her with two broken legs, punctured lungs and a range of other serious injuries that required urgent treatment at Waikato Hospital. 

Dean William Haycock, the owner of the trailer, and Alexander William Klein, the driver and Haycock's employee, have been charged with dangerous use of a motor vehicle causing injury and appeared in Taupo District Court on May 25. 

The summary of facts paint a sequence of shoddy safety procedures when coupling the trailer to the vehicle. 

At 7.30am Haycock helped load the trailer with building supplies at a Huka Falls address.

The trailer's warrant of fitness had expired in December 2014 and it was in an unwarrantable state.

The 50mm trailer coupling was not compatible with the 47.6mm ball on the Hilux and Haycock had either "not connected the chain to the tow bar or improperly connected the safety chain to the tow bar," the summary of facts says.

This meant the safety chain was ineffective. 

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The trailer was also loaded with too much weight at the back causing the front to kick up slightly as it travelled. 

In a statement Haycock said he had attached the safety chain and shackle to the best of his memory but when asked if he had placed a screw in the shackle Haycock did not have a "clear memory of doing that". 

Klein did not perform his own safety check before driving the vehicle on the road.  

"I didn't physically or visually check the connection before I left the property," Klein's statement read. 

"Dean had said it was okay so I didn't check it."

He drove to town, from Huka Falls Road, and was heading along Lake Terrace when the trailer came loose from the Hilux. 

The loaded trailer careened across the centre line of the road on a collision course with Hyslop who was out for a morning walk. 

A warning was shouted out by those nearby but it was too late.

Hyslop was struck by the trailer from behind. The impact left her with broken legs, fractured vertebrae, broken ribs and punctured lungs. 

Hyslop had a lengthy stay in Waikato Hospital following the accident and is recovering in a brain rehabilitation centre in Wellington. 

Klein has been convicted of careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury and awaits sentencing. No conviction has been entered for Haycock as an application for a discharge without conviction was expected to be entered by his lawyer Stuart Hickman. 

Sentencing will occur on July 6.