A Chinese man has been charged after the death of three fellow tourists in a horrific head-on crash near Tekapo.

Lai Xu, 50, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday charged with three counts of careless driving causing death and four of careless driving causing injury, following the March 8 incident.

Three rescue helicopters attended the scene after the head-on collision between two cars on Braemar Rd, near the State Highway 8 intersection, just outside Tekapo, reports Otago Daily Times.

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Three Chinese tourists dead, five injured in crash

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The three Chinese visitors who died were Yuyan Li, 74, of Sichuan, and Fuhe Li, 75, and Jin Zhang, 75, of Chongqing.

Xu, described on court documents as a resident of Sichuan, walked slowly into the dock yesterday, assisted by crutches.

A Mandarin interpreter was also present.

Xu entered no plea and was remanded on bail for him to arrange legal representation.

He was ordered to surrender his passport.

The defendant will be back before the court in two weeks.