8 Feb 2011

Teen driver admits manslaughter charges

5:06 pm on 8 February 2011

A 17-year-old has pleaded guilty in the Napier High Court to causing the death of two passengers in a vehicle she was driving.

Tuoho Marire Ta Christy, who was 16 at the time, was behind the wheel of a van which crashed on the Napier-Hastings expressway following a party in October 2009.

The van crashed into an oncoming car before landing upside down on a bridge railing.

Two men who were passengers in the back seat were flung into the Tutaekuri River and killed, while four other people were admitted to hospital.

The driver and passenger of a vehicle the van collided with also required hospital treatment.

Police checks showed Ta Christy had held a learner's licence for just over five weeks and her blood-alcohol level was more than three times over the legal limit.

Before the Crown was due to present evidence in court on Tuesday, Ta Christy decided to plead guilty to both manslaughter charges.

She will be sentenced on 17 February.