Death crash accused named

By Anna Ferrick


Four young men charged after the death of an 18-year-old in a car crash this year appeared in court yesterday and lost name suppression.

Matthew O'Sullivan, Adam O'Sullivan, Jesse Ellmers and Brandon Lawrence appeared before Judge Tony Adeane in the Napier District Court yesterday.

The four were charged last month and granted name suppression, which lapsed yesterday.

Police say Maree Schafer, of Napier, died in the February 19 crash in Meeanee while in a car driven by one of the men.

The car was allegedly being raced at high speeds.

In a press release at the time charges were laid, police said three of the men were driving cars and one had been a front-seat passenger.

Police also said the charges should act as a warning to anyone involved in boy-racer activity that they could end up facing serious consequences. That included passengers or spectators, or anyone else who encouraged or aided someone to commit such offences.

It was not clear in court yesterday which of the men had been drivers and which of them had been a passenger.

Lawrence pleaded guilty to two driving-related charges yesterday. Despite his guilty plea, no summary of facts was read to the court.

Lawrence, 19, was remanded on bail to reappear before the court on October 15 for sentencing.

He was ordered not to drive a motor vehicle in the meantime.

Ellmers, 18, pleaded not guilty to two charges of participating in a street race causing injury and death.

His lawyer, Amit Malik, indicated he would probably go to trial.

Ellmers is scheduled to reappear in court on October 17.

Matthew O'Sullivan, 20, and Adam O'Sullivan, 18, are yet to enter pleas.

Both are due to reappear in court, and expected to plead, on August 21.

Adam O'Sullivan has been charged with being party to a street race causing death and perverting the course of justice.

It is understood Matthew O'Sullivan was the driver of one of the cars and was disqualified from driving at the time.

Both were remanded on bail.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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