A Dutch businessman who was involved in a crash which killed three people and left one seriously injured had been caught speeding hours before the collision, it has been reported.

Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, was recorded as travelling at 108km/h in a 100km zone of State Highway 1 at Burnham, at around 10am on May 31, The Press reports.

A 4km/h speed tolerance was in force at the time, as it was the Queen's Birthday weekend.

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Hours later, at 3.55pm, Appelman ran a stop sign at the intersection of Somerton Rd and Thompson's Track, near Rakaia, killing Sally Summerfield, 49, her daughter Ella, 12, and Ella's friend Abi Hone, also 12. Shane Summerfield was seriously injured in the crash.

It comes after it was last month revealed that Appelman crashed another car the night before the fatal collision. No-one was injured in that incident, which took place on Johns Rd, near Christchurch Airport.

In both crashes Appelman was driving rental vehicles.

He has pleaded guilty to three counts of careless driving causing death, and one count of careless driving causing injury. He will be sentenced later this month.

Watch: Triple fatal crash in Canterbury