Trio to defend Welcome Bay fatal crash charges

A cross at the site where the two girls were killed. Photo / Alan Gibson
A cross at the site where the two girls were killed. Photo / Alan Gibson

The three people charged over a Christmas Day car crash in Welcome Bay that killed two Tauranga sisters will defend the charges at trial.

The girls' mother Phillippa Vanessa Morehu, 36; Haki Tepuere Davey, 17; and Hetaraka Hikurangi Reihana, 20, were today committed to the High Court at Rotorua for a pre-trial hearing on April 17.

They all face two counts of manslaughter.

Morehu appeared in Tauranga District Court while the other two accused, who have been bailed to Auckland addresses, signed their bail committal papers in Manukau District Court.

The manslaughter charges relate to the deaths of Merepeka Morehu-Clark, 14, and her 13-year-old sister Brooklyn Morehu-Clark who were on the way to visit their grandmother's grave when the crash happened. They were not wearing seatbelts and died at the scene.

The sisters were sitting in the back seat of a vehicle allegedly driven by Hetaraka Hikurangi Reihana, 20, when it collided with a ute on Welcome Bay Rd.

No trial date has yet been set.

- NZ Herald

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