The partner of a pregnant mother who was killed in crash in Northland over the weekend had been planning to propose to her on Mother's Day.

Kylee Anne Rakich, 29, was killed when the vehicle she was a passenger in collided with another car on State Highway 10, at the junction of Puketona Rd, in Oromahoe, about 6pm on Saturday.

She was eight months pregnant with an unborn baby girl she had already named Harper.

An American tourist, Thomas James Springer, 66, has been charged with careless use of a motor vehicle causing the deaths of two people.


Virginia Keogh-Pitman , who was in the same car as Ms Rakich, was pronounced dead at the scene as well. The 44-year-old was from Whangarei.

Virginia Keogh-Pitman pictured with her son Trent. Photo: Trent Levi Keogh/Facebook
Virginia Keogh-Pitman pictured with her son Trent. Photo: Trent Levi Keogh/Facebook

Springer, from San Francisco, appeared in the Kaikohe District Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty and will reappear at the same court for sentencing.

He has also been charged with the careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury, after Ms Rakich's partner, who was driving their vehicle, was seriously injured. The charges carry a maximum penalty of three months in jail and a $4000 fine.

The couple's 8-year-old daughter was also hurt and taken to hospital.

Ms Rakich was heavily pregnant and had already named her unborn baby girl - Harper.

Referring to her sister's unborn child, Ms Rakich's sister, Leash King, told Fairfax: "It's now being raised by angels."

Tributes are flowing on social media for both women killed.

Ms King wrote a poignant post to the younger sibling she dubbed "my baby sister.''

"I'm sorry, babe, I didn't protect you enough. I will do right by you...I will always love and miss you to the bitter end and I hope nana was there to walk you through the next step of your life.

"Dear Lord, please hold my sister tight in your arms and bless her with the most beautiful angel wings she deserves.''

Family and friends of Ms Keogh-Pitman have also paid tribute to a beautiful mother.

Son Trent wrote on Facebook: "I can't accept the fact that I'll never see you again. You were everything to me and I never showed or told you how much I love you. I hope you're proud of me, mum, and from this day forward I'll better myself and learn from what you've taught me.

"I won't ever accept the fact that you're gone cause you've always been apart of me whenever I am. I love you more than love itself. Always.''