A 20-year-old Havelock North man has been charged with careless driving causing the death of Frances Ada Burden, Hawke's Bay's first road fatality this year.

Jack Kenneth Vose appeared in Hastings District Court on Monday and entered no plea to the charge of careless driving causing death.

He was remanded at large and will next appear on May 13.

The 87-year-old grandmother was killed just outside Havelock North on January 7, after her Mazda Demio, travelling north on Napier Rd, was involved in a "heavy collision" with a south-bound van driving towards the village shortly after 3pm.


The 20-year-old deck hand was admitted to Hawke's Bay Hospital with a suspected broken leg.

At the time of the crash the road was an 80km/h zone, about 100m north of where Napier Rd becomes a 50km/h zone.

Road Policing Senior Sergeant Greg Brown said after the incident: "It was an absolute tragedy ... now a family has to deal with the tragic loss of a mother and a grandmother."

Ms Burden was the first official road fatality for Hawke's Bay in 2014.

As of yesterday the national road toll sits at 96, 15 more deaths than at the same time last year.

Sunday's crash near Te Hauke, south of Hastings, where two men were killed, brought the road toll for the Hawke's Bay region to five.