Tourist admits careless driving causing deaths


(eTN) – An Austrian tourist today admitted careless driving that killed four motorcyclists and injured two others in South Canterbury on Sunday.

Heike Schellnegger, 30, pleaded guilty to four charges of careless driving causing death and two charges of careless driving causing injury when she appeared in Christchurch District Court.

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Police say Schellnegger lost control of the campervan she was driving when she drifted on to the wrong side of State Highway 79, between Geraldine and Fairlie, and collided with a group of motorcyclists.

Three people died after the crash on Sunday including motorcyclist Gavin MacDonald, of Timaru, whose 11-year-old daughter Olivia died the following day at Christchurch Hospital.

A British man and woman, who had been living in Pleasant Point, 19km northwest of Timaru, for the past six months, also died.

The motorcyclists were on a charity ride for under-privileged children. Schellnegger was remanded on bail for sentencing on December 19.