Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Former student cleared over Kenya crash

All the students and teachers from Bethlehem College who went to Kenya. Photo / Facebook
All the students and teachers from Bethlehem College who went to Kenya. Photo / Facebook

Former Bethlehem College student David Fellows has been cleared over the crash that killed three New Zealanders in Kenya, with investigators saying he was not the driver.

Kenyan police have insisted the Kenyan man who died in the crash was the one behind the wheel, One News reported.

The statement came despite Bethlehem College admitting Mr Fellows, 18, was driving the van when it crashed last month, killing former Bethlehem College pupil Caitlin Dickson, 19, Tauranga couple Brian and Grace Johnston, and Kenyan man Christopher Mmata.

It was initially assumed Mr Mmata was driving and it was only after Mr Fellows returned to New Zealand that he confessed to being the one behind the wheel.

Kenyan police said that story could not be true and the driver must have been Mr Mmata, who was thrown from the van.

A post-mortem examination showed he had shattered ribs, a Kenyan police spokesman told One News.

"The injuries of the driver and also the inspection of the car is showing that really the driver, Christopher, was the one driving the car,'' he said.

He said Kenyan police had no reason to be a part of any cover-up.

Mr Fellows might still have questions to answer as there could still be a public inquest, in which anyone with information to change the police case could be heard.

The head of Bethlehem College's board of trustees chairman Greg Hollister-Jones told One News its investigation into the incident focused on school procedures and not police matters.

Mr Fellow's lawyer Paul Mabey QC said they had not heard from Kenyan authorities.

- APNZ

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