Timaru car crash: A decision on any criminal charges could be months away, police say

Police say it could be months before deciding whether to press any charges over the horror Timaru car crash which killed five teens.

Javarney Wayne Drummond, 15; Niko William Hill, 15; Jack “Jacko” Wallace, 16; Joseff “Joey” McCarthy, 16; and Andrew Goodger, 15, were all killed when the Nissan Bluebird they were travelling in smashed into a concrete power pole on Seadown Rd, Washdyke, just north of Timaru around 7.30pm on Saturday.

The impact was so severe, it sliced the car in half, and police say speed, alcohol, and over-loading are all factors they are looking at.

Only the driver, 19-year-old Tyreese Fleming, who was on a restricted licence, survived the smash.

While devastated Timaru families plan funerals and memorial services, police investigations into the circumstances around the crash are ongoing.

Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin has stressed that fatal crash inquiries often take time.

“We’ve got a lot of investigations to do,” he told the Herald today.

Police are awaiting critical reports from both Vehicle Testing New Zealand and serious crash investigators.

“Once we’ve got everyone, including witness statements and anything else that we can find to assist, then we’ll be looking at interviewing the driver to see if there any possible liability for him,” Gaskin said.

Some of the boys were not wearing seatbelts, while one of them was in the boot when the car crashed.

Any decision over charges that police come to, will then need to be reviewed by Crown Law.

“I would expect it to take months rather than weeks,” Gaskin said.

“People want a decision tomorrow but that just can’t be done.”

The driver is still in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Gaskin wouldn’t comment on his injuries but said “they are not life-threatening”.

Police staff are yet to officially interview him.

On Sunday, he posted a photo and message to social media site Snapchat apologising to the families of the dead boys.

Details of funerals for Javarney and Andrew were published in family notices today.

Andrew, survived by parents Richard and Andrea and sister Jorja, will be farewelled on Thursday at 1.30pm at Timaru’s Life Church.

His family said he was “much loved” and that his funeral would be a celebration of life.

Javarney is survived by his parents, Stephen and Robyn, and sister Zarlea.

He was also described as a “very much loved” family member.

His farewell will be held on Friday at 1pm at Aoraki Funeral Services.

Stephen Drummond spoke to the Herald yesterday about the death of his son.

“I can’t paint a car for him so I’ll paint his coffin,” he said in an emotional interview.

“My hearts go out to the families. I’m gutted for them as much as I am for my own family.

“To lose five kids, and they’re all mates, is huge.”

Niko Hill’s funeral is still be finalised.

He is survived by parents Carissa and Hemi, and Amosa and his younger brother Malakai.

“Very loved and will be sadly missed,” his death notice read.

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