Sentencing of an American tourist who admitted causing the deaths of two Northland women in a car crash has been put off until next Saturday.

Thomas James Springer, 66, has pleaded guilty to two charges of careless driving causing the deaths of 29-year-old Ahipara woman Kylee-Anne Rakich, who was eight months pregnant with a daughter she had already named Harper, and 44-year-old Whangarei woman Virginia Keogh. He also admitted a charge of driving causing injury of the 21-year-old man who was driving the car carrying the two women. The maximum penalty for the offences is three months' jail and/or a fine.

The crash occurred on State Highway 10 at Puketona on April 30.

He was due to be sentenced today but in an unusual move Judge Greg Davis adjourned the sentencing until next Saturday so the restorative justice process could begin.


Outside the court Ms Rakich's sister Leash King told the Northern Advocate the whanau wanted to ensure Springer went through the same justice process as anybody else who had admitted such crimes in New Zealand.

During an earlier appearance it was revealed that Springer must return to the United States before the end of the month for treatment for a brain tumour.

Springer was to have been sentenced on May 6 but Judge Greg Davis adjourned the hearing until today to give time for the victims' whanau to compile statements, and for a restorative justice meeting, but that had not been held by today.