Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The crash that claimed the lives of five Timaru teenagers last weekend is the 13th in New Zealand where five or more people have been killed in the past 20 years.

Authorities are still working to piece together what happened last Saturday night in the lead-up to the horror crash on a busy road about 10 minutes from the town centre.

Javarney Wayne Drummond (15), Niko William “Hillsie” Hill (15), Jack “Jacko” Wallace (16), Joseff “Joey” McCarthy (16) and Andrew Goodger (15) were all killed when the Nissan Bluebird they were passengers in smashed into a concrete power pole.

Only the driver, Tyreese Fleming (19), survived.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

Police with the wreckage of the car that crashed in Timaru killing five teenagers. Photo / George Heard

The boys killed in the crash were all friends and had been at the local skatepark together and spent time at nearby Burger King before getting into Fleming’s car.

Some did not wear seatbelts and one was in the boot.

Police have said speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The scene of the fatal Timaru crash. Photo / George Heard

They are yet to speak to Fleming and say the investigation may be lengthy as they collect all of the information they need to establish why the crash happened.

Officers were back at the scene during the week photographing and measuring areas of the road and surrounds.

A Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport spokesperson confirmed the crash was the 13th in New Zealand between 2000 and this year where five or more people have died.

The ministry confirmed the five worst crashes on record to the Weekend Herald.

The worst fatal road crash in New Zealand history was in 1963 when 15 people died in a bus crash in Northland.

A group of men, women and children from the Auckland area – many of them related – made a trip north for Waitangi Day.

At the last minute, they were told the bus they had booked had been given to another group.

An older one was sent in its place and got them to Waitangi for the celebration.
But on the return leg on February 7 the bus brakes suddenly failed, sending the group
plummeting down a sheer cliff face.

Fourteen passengers died instantly, another later that day.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The wreckage of the bus. Photo / Chris & Shirley Ayers

The were Beryl Abraham-Paenganui, Dolly Bidois, Miriama Nathan, Steve Nathan Emma Nielson, Ropata Pouaka Ngarotokurua Molly Povey, Colleen Margaret Sheffield, Peter Tapene, Maringi Kaa Taratu, Eriapa Poata Uruamo, Karaka Wiapo, Celia Kidwell, Levia Kidwell and Ben Kingi.

The remaining passengers suffered varying injuries from cuts and fractures to severe and paralysing spinal injuries.


in Hawke’s Bay.

The bus crashed off the Mohaka Bridge on the Napier-Taupō highway and plunged 50 metres into the Mohaka River.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The house bus which plunged 50m off a bridge on the Napier Taupō highway into the Mohaka River, killing all eight people on board. Photo / NZ Herald

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar was first on the scene and raced home to call police and his brother Alan, a tow-truck driver.

Over the next day it would emerge eight people had been killed including a 1-year-old girl and 15-month-old boy.

The dead were Hinerehu June Samuels (32) and son Dwayne Symon Moon (15 months); partners Matthew James Moses (28) and Una Paea (Dar) Hounuku (34) and daughter Eden Theresa Joe Seymour Moses (1); partners Leslie Stuart (Les) Avery (27) and Enid Kahurangi Allen (27) and Owen Neil Heremia (32).

A decade later in May 2005 nine people were killed in a collision between a tourist van and a truck on State Highway 27 near Matamata in Waikato.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The Matamata crash scene. Photo / NZ Herald

The Mercedes mini-bus veered across the road into the path of a fully laden logging truck and disintegrated, leaving bodies, baggage and papers strewn across the road.

By the time the first ambulance officers arrived at the scene, eight people were dead including Kiwi driver George Edward Gibson and his Thai partner Naphat Juiyim.

Ahalya Thirumuthy (20) died in hospital later.

Her parents and sister – Vellore Padmanaban Thirumurthy, Suchitra Thirumurthy and Urmila Thirumurthy – were also killed alongside American couple Gregory James Megas and Donna Lee Megas and French tourist Robert Sylvain Michel Besse.

At an inquest, the coroner found Gibson was distracted and lost control of the van.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The scene of the crash near Waverley. Photo / Stuart Munro


near Waverley in South Taranaki.

Joseph Thompson (28) died alongside his 6-month-old daughter Shady Thompson.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

Nivek Madams and Shady Thompson were killed when their father lost control of their car after smoking synthetic drugs. Photo / Supplied

His stepdaughter Nivek Madams (8) died later in hospital.

Four people also died in the car he struck: Ian Porteous (80), his wife Rosalie (76), his sister Ora Keene (84) and friend Brenda Williams (79).

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

Ian and Rosalie Porteous were killed in the crash on State Highway 3 near Waverley. Photo / Supplied

It later emerged Thompson, who was responsible for the collision, had smoked synthetic drugs a number of times before driving.

In April 2019 eight people died in a collision between a car and a SUV in Taupō.

Tokoroa couple Margaret Luke and David Poutawa died alongside five of their children – when their car collided with a SUV at Atiamuri.

Timaru car crash that killed teens one of 13 in NZ with five or more victims

The Poutawa-Luke whānau in March 2016. Photo / Supplie

The sole survivor of the crash, was their 9-year-old son David.

Scouts NZ manager Jenny Rodgers – the sole occupant of the SUV – also died.

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