Auckland bus driver denies careless driving which left two dead

A 72-year-old bus driver has denied careless driving causing the death of two Aucklanders earlier this year.

Ngatokoitu Tapora entered not-guilty pleas today in the Manukau District Court.

Taylor Charles King, 23, and Jeremy Tokotai KauKasi, 34, were struck by a bus on Puhinui Rd on April 14.

The two mates worked together at Altus Enterprises, a social enterprise that employs nearly 200 people with disabilities.Both men died at the scene.

Police said at the time the passengers on board the bus were not injured.

Tapora faces two charges of driving carelessly, causing death.

The maximum penalty for each charge is three months’ imprisonment and a fine of $4500.

She is also charged with careless driving on Neilson Rd, Onehunga, on March 28, the maximum penalty for which is a fine of $3000.

Tapora appeared briefly before Judge Josephine Bouchier this morning.

The public gallery was full of bereaved supporters, also sitting outside the courtroom and waiting to hear what happened.

As Tapora, who is represented by defence lawyer Karl Trotter, left the dock a woman said: “You took my son.”

Outside the courtroom she began sobbing.

Tapora left the courthouse flanked by supporters.

She is due to appear in court again next year.

NZ Herald