Teen van driver charged over fatal Tarawera crash

A teenager has appeared in Napier District Court facing 10 charges relating to a Napier-Taupo highway crash in which one man died and the teenager and nine others were injured.

The crash happened when a van turning across State Highway 5 at Tarawera was struck by a northbound wine-tanker on the morning of October 19 last year. The truck continued across the highway, and crashed through a barrier and overturned down a bank at the site of the Tarawera Cafe, formerly the Tarawera Tavern.

The driver of the van appeared briefly before a Registrar in court today facing one charge of careless use of a vehicle causing the death of Samoan Registered Seasonal Employer (RSE scheme horticultural worker Tino Tagiilima, and nine of careless use of a vehicle causing injury to other passengers, also RS workers from overseas.

The injured were taken to hospitals in Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Gisborne, with the van driver being seriously hurt and also spending some time in Wellington Hospital.

Police and legal counsel in court today agreed on interim name suppression with the man being remanded at large and without pleas to a second appearance in the court on April 8.

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