Crash victim Shane Summerfield has been in "unbearable pain" since losing half his family, he told a court today.

Father-of-three Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, avoided jail after admitting he caused the deaths of Sally Vanessa Summerfield, 49, her daughter Ella Yasmin Summerfield, 12, and Ella's friend Abi Hone, 12, on Queen's Birthday weekend.

He had arrived in Christchurch on May 30 and rented a car.

Watch: Crash tragedy: Victims' families speak

Families of the victims of the tragic car crash that killed three people made a brief statement outside court after Dutch businessman Johannes Appelman was sentenced today.