19 Sep 2023

Teen accused of dangerous driving causing fatality remanded on bail

12:51 pm on 19 September 2023
Adam Rapson in Christchurch District Court with lawyer Kerry Cook (right).

Photo: RNZ/ Tim Brown

The teenager accused of being behind the wheel of a pink-stickered car which smashed into a Rangiora home, killing another teen, was on a learner's licence.

Adam Rapson has been remanded on bail after appearing in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday morning.

The public gallery was packed with Rapson's friends and family for his first court appearance.

The 18-year-old was facing charges of dangerous driving causing death, being on a learner's licence without a qualified person, driving a vehicle that had been ordered off the road, and fleeing police.

Canterbury police rural area commander Peter Cooper said police were called to reported illegal street racing in the Fernside area just before 4.45am on Sunday.

"Police followed an offending vehicle for a short time, but then stopped due to the manner of driving and the urban environment," he said.

"The vehicle was found crashed into the side of a house on McIvor Place, Rangiora, after it appeared to have hit a tree. No-one in the house was hurt."

Rapson was alleged to be the driver, with three passengers in the car.

Zara Mitchell, 18, died at the scene.

Two other passengers were uninjured.

Cooper said several investigations were taking place, including inquiries by the Serious Crash Unit.

The matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority by police.

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