2 May 2016

Tourist charged over fatal Northland crash

7:58 pm on 2 May 2016

An American tourist has appeared in Kaikohe District Court, charged with causing the deaths of two people in a crash near Kerikeri at the weekend.

Two others were also injured in the head-on collision on Saturday evening.

The 66-year-old Californian man has been charged with careless driving causing death and injury.

A police spokesman said the man and his wife had been in New Zealand for a short holiday and were in a rental car.

The spokesman said the tourists turned left out of Puketona Road onto State Highway 10, but turned into the right-hand lane instead of the left.

A short distance later, the couple collided with a northbound car on a bend.

Two women in the car died at the scene: Kylee Anne Rakich, 29, from Ahipara, and Virginia Keogh, 44, from Whangarei.

The 21-year-old man driving the car was injured and taken to hospital, along with an eight-year-old child.

The police spokesman said the American visitors were in anguish over the crash.