A Dutch tourist is likely to be charged after a crash in
Canterbury that killed a mother and two young girls.
Sally Vanessa Summerfield, 49, her daughter Ella Yasmin
Summerfield, 12, and Ella's friend Abigail Ann Hone, 12, were
killed when their car was hit by a vehicle that ran a stop
sign at an intersection on Thompson Track near Rakaia.
Ms Summerfield's 48-year-old husband, who was driving,
suffered serious injuries.
The driver of the other vehicle, a 52-year-old man from the
Netherlands suffered moderate injuries.
Police say they have yet to formally talk to him, but he is
likely to face three charges of careless use of a vehicle
causing death and one charge of careless use of a vehicle
Canterbury Road Policing manager Inspector Al Stewart said
the behaviour of the driver was "absolutely unacceptable".
"Given the weather conditions at the time of this crash, and
visibility available to the driver there is no reason at all
why he shouldn't have seen the vehicle," Mr Stewart said.
Ashburton Senior Sergeant Scott Banfield said all drivers
must remain vigilant this long weekend.
"If you are in a rural area or any unfamiliar place, we must
have a heightened sense of awareness, look out for stop signs
and anything else that could ruin our weekend."
Police say all those involved were from outside the South
The Queen's Birthday road toll rose to five last night when a
man died after hitting a power pole in Eketahuna.
Adrian James Ihaka, 36, of Eketahuna, crashed just 600 metres
from a social gathering he was at. He had left after an
argument. He was given first aid but died at the scene.
"Initial indications suggest that alcohol and speed are two
factors that have caused this tragic and totally preventable
crash," said Acting Central District Road Policing Manager
The first holiday weekend fatality was probably caused by
tourists in a campervan crossing the centre line, police say.
A passenger in a four-wheel-drive died on Friday night after
it and a campervan collided on State Highway 25 near
Whenuakite on the Coromandel Peninsula.
The 4WD driver was flown to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital
with serious injuries, and two tourists in the campervan were
treated at Thames Hospital for minor injuries.
Police say initial indications are the southbound campervan
crossed the centre line into the 4WD's path.
Last year there were no road deaths during Queen's Birthday
weekend. The official period began at 4pm on Friday and ends
at 6am on Tuesday