Tourist charged over fatal double crash

Scene of double-fatality crash in the Lindis Pass.  Photo / Otago Daily Times
Scene of double-fatality crash in the Lindis Pass. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Police have charged a 20-year-old woman visiting from China with two charges of careless driving causing death following yesterday's double fatal crash near Cromwell.

Grant John Roberts, 43, of Timaru, and Dennis Michael Pederson, 54, of Tauranga, died at the scene after a Nissan collided with the motorcyclists on Lindis Pass, 19km north of Tarras in Central Otago, about 2.16pm.

A 26-year-old Timaru woman, who was a pillion passenger, was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital by the Otago Regional Rescue helicopter and remains in a critical condition.

Alexandra Police Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk said a 20-year-old woman, a visiting Chinese national, has been charged with two charges of careless driving causing death relating to this crash. More charges are likely to follow.

"While we have a clear picture of what occurred, we are still asking for witnesses to come forward regarding the driving behaviour of both groups involved prior to the crash," Mr Kerrisk said.

"We are particularly interested in movements of a dark coloured Nissan sedan with a single female occupant traveling south from Omarama towards Cromwell between midday and 2.15pm yesterday. We believe that this vehicle was following a white station wagon a short time before the crash occurred. We would like the driver of that white station wagon to contact police."

Mr Kerrisk said police were also interested in speaking to anyone who saw a group of eight to 10 motorcyclists on large Harley Davidsons traveling from Cromwell towards Omarama yesterday afternoon prior to the crash.

He said alcohol was not suspected to be a factor in the crash.

Police are continuing to investigate the accident.

- Otago Daily Times

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