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SIA pilot in NZ car crash to pay victims $20k

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot who pleaded guilty to two charges of reckless driving has been ordered to pay a total of NZ$20,000 (S$19,985) in damages by a New Zealand court.

Benjamin Wu Yonghao, 32, was also disqualified from driving  the country for 18 months.

It was heard in court that Wu hit a four wheel-drive towing a horse float after he ran a stop sign.

Two passengers in the car, chief steward Chew Weng Wai and stewardess Vanessa Coehlo - sustained serious injuries​.

Mr Chew, sitting in the back seat of the car, suffered bleeding and swelling to the brain and internal injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt, reported New Zealand Herald.

Ms Coehlo, siting in the middle of the back seat, underwent surgery for fractured arm, shattered pelvis and bladder. She was also not wearing a seatbelt.

The other two passengers, wearing seatbelts, had no injuries.

At the sentencing, the judge said that it was fortunate that there were no fatalities.

While New Zealand does not have laws that make it compulsory for the driver to ensure that passengers over 15 must wear seatbealts, the judge said during that Wu should be have ensured his passengers all wore seatbelts.

The Straits Times reported that Wu's lawyer told the court on Friday the incident was a "tragic unintended accident with tragic consequences."

Sources: New Zealand Herald, The Straits Times.

Related story: Five SIA crew members hurt in New Zealand car accident 

Singapore AirlinesUncategorisedNew Zealand