Police are likely to refer an unlicensed 14-year-old driver to the Youth Court after a holiday crash in South Canterbury that claimed three young lives.

Cole Christensen-Hull, Sam Drost and Lily Moore, all aged 15, died when the car they were passengers in became airborne on a rural road in Southbridge and smashed into trees at speed overnight on Boxing Day.

The driver survived but suffered serious injuries.

Road policing manager Inspector Al Stewart told Fairfax it was likely the young driver would be referred to the Youth Court because of the circumstances of the crash.


"If it was an adult driver the charges would be careless use [of a motor vehicle] causing death. However, given the age of the driver in this situation there are other considerations that need to be taken into account."

A family group conference was likely to be scheduled, Stewart said.

The driver's father told Fairfax the teenager was "up and down. He's taking it day by day."

Lily's father Marcus Moore declined to comment on the possibility of the driver being charged but said the past two months had been "very tough".

"We can get through it altogether as a family. I haven't met Cole's family yet, but I would like to meet them in time."