Charges have been laid today in relation to a crash that killed two sisters.

Tayla Alexander, 17, died and her sister Sunmara, 16, suffered critical injuries in the crash on Summit Road in Christchurch on November 27 last year.

Sunmara, an Ashburton College student, died in hospital on December 13 on her 16th birthday. She had suffered extensive burns and the battle to save her had meant multiple amputations due to infections.

A 19-year-old man has today been charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death, as well as dangerous driving causing injury and driving without the appropriate licence.


He is scheduled to appear in Christchurch District Court on May 28.

"This was a devastating event and a tragic reminder to all drivers of the need to drive safely and to the conditions," says Superintendent Lane Todd, Canterbury Metro Area Commander.

"Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Tayla and Sunmara as they continue to grieve the loss of their loved ones."

The sisters' father Jason Alexander has told the Herald his last words to his only children were: "I love you and be good."

He had left the family's Ashburton home and left to see his partner.

The girls then sneaked out of the house and headed toward Christchurch.

Alexander had raised his daughters on his own since their mother moved to Australia 11 years prior.

He said the sisters were extremely close but had different personalities.


Tayla, who was studying art, was a "kind and gentle soul", who put others before herself.

Jason Alexander, with partner Lisa Campbell. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Jason Alexander, with partner Lisa Campbell. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

"She wanted to be a psychologist to help people. She was very strong, caring and loving."

Her younger sister was a "ratbag in a good way".

"She is fun-loving and full of energy. She would wag school and get caught because she would call Pizza Hut and get it delivered to the domain across the road from school. Her goal was to make lots of money. She had just started working at Countdown."

After Sunmara died, the grieving father thanked everyone for their support on his Facebook page.

"It is truly what's kept me going, quite often when I'm feeling really down and start losing my strength I grab my ph and read all msgs you have sent us and it has picked me up again."