The Dutch businessman involved in a crash that killed three
people near Rakaia had a previous crash in Canterbury, it has
Senior Sergeant Scott Banfield confirmed information obtained
by The Christchurch Star that Johannes Jacobus
Appelman, 52, had been involved in another accident.
"We are aware of that [previous crash]. We have information
at hand and are investigating that," he told The Star
"It took place in Canterbury. There was no other party
Senior Sergeant Banfield would not discuss any other details
of the previous crash, or when it happened. However, he said
it formed a part of the police investigation into the fatal
crash near Rakaia.
Contrary to previous reports, Appelman is not a tourist, but
a regular visitor to Canterbury with business interests in
He has been charged with causing the deaths of Sumner woman
Sally Summerfield, 49, her daughter Ella, and Ella's friend
Abi Hone, both 12, when his vehicle allegedly failed to stop
at an intersection on Queen's Birthday Weekend.
He has been remanded on bail to appear before the district
court on July 10.
Mrs Summerfield's husband Shane was seriously injured in the
crash. He was discharged from Christchurch Hospital on
Monday, and is expected to attend his wife and daughter's
funeral at Sumner School hall tomorrow.
He was not well enough to attend Abi Hone's funeral on
"From the medical advice we received, [Shane] was very, very
lucky to survive the accident," said Senior Sergeant
Appelman had checked into a Christchurch hotel at around 1am
on the morning of the crash. Senior Sergeant Banfield said
tiredness was not a factor in the investigation.
He said speeding had also been ruled out as Appelman was
travelling at the open road speed limit of 100 km/h.
He said police did not believe alcohol was a factor, but were
still waiting to receive results from a blood sample test.
The Summerfields and Abi Hone had been travelling to Lake
Ohau for a Queen's Birthday Weekend getaway.
Soon after the crash, Abi's older brother Ed Hone posted on
Facebook that his family did not want people to blame
Appelman for the crash.
"Everyone has to understand that the man will be feeling
every bit as hurt as we all are," he said.
Senior Sergeant Banfield said police would wait until after
the funeral to contact Mr Summerfield in regards to him
making a statement about the crash.
He said the statement would not be crucial to the case as
"the evidence we have is independent and sufficient."
Meanwhile, more than 2000 mourners attended Abi Hone's
funeral on Monday.
Friends and family sang musical tributes to her during the
two hour service.
Posters of Abi with the words "Love You"were stuck to the
walls of the Sumner School hall.
- By Max Towle of the Christchurch Star