A Northland man has been charged with six counts of reckless driving causing injury after a horror high-speed crash that left a mother and her 4-year-old son fighting for their lives.
The 31-year-old Moerewa man is also charged with failing to stop to ascertain injury after he allegedly fled the crash scene at the bottom of Moerewa's Turntable Hill.
He is due back in the Kaikohe District Court on March 19 when he is expected to enter a plea.
Auckland woman Stacey Faaliga was driving home from a family reunion in the Far North with her three sons on the evening of October 21 last year when police say her car was struck head-on by an "out-of-control car, travelling at excessive speed".
The alleged offending driver's BMW was consumed in a fireball. Police say the driver fled on foot, leaving not just the injured mother and children, but also two companions in his own car.
He handed himself in at Kawakawa police station the following morning.
Faaliga had to be cut from the wreckage by volunteer firefighters and spent almost three weeks in intensive care with multiple fractures, including two which exposed bone.
She was only discharged from hospital last week — three and a half months after the crash — and still needed to use a walking frame.
Her youngest son Liam, 4, was still recovering from serious brain injuries.
Her older sons, and the passengers in the other vehicle, were also taken to hospital.
Rescue helicopters from Whangārei and Auckland were needed to transport the injured to hospital.
Police said the driver could not be tested for alcohol because he was not located until the following day.
The crash occurred on the south side of the bridge at the bottom of Turntable Hill, just inside the town's 50km/h zone.
Police praised Moerewa residents for the way they rallied to help the injured and emergency service personnel.