Kenya crash driver could face charges
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 5:09a.m.
The New Zealander who was driving a minibus that crashed into a ditch in Kenya killing four people - including three Kiwis - could face charges.
Police are going through Interpol to inform their Kenyan counterparts that an 18-year-old Kiwi, David Fellows, was actually behind the wheel of a fatal mini-bus crash near the Ugandan border.
Dean of Canterbury University Law School Chris Gallavin says New Zealand law allows for charges against Mr Fellows to be made here.
“Irrespective of whether he is extradited or not, and if we say that no extradition application is made or if it’s made and it’s not successful, that does not necessarily mean that he will evade prosecution or investigation.”
After he returned to New Zealand, former Bethlehem College student Mr Fellows revealed he was driving the mini-bus when he lost control in heavy rain and the vehicle rolled and went into a ditch two weeks ago.
The crash killed Tauranga anaesthetist Brian Johnston and his wife Grace, and 19-year-old Caitlin Dickson. Five others were taken to hospital.
Those who died in the crash were part of a group of 19 volunteers - 12 students and seven adults - on a trip to Kenya to work at the Ark Quest Education Centre, near the Ugandan border.
It was earlier believed Kenyan man Christopher Mmata, who died at the scene of the crash, was driving.
Tauranga police were informed of the new crash information on Monday.
"This information will be forwarded to the Kenyan authorities through Interpol," a police spokesman said in a statement.
They were offering any assistance to Kenyan authorities and were waiting to hear back from them, he said.
Mr Fellows was not significantly injured in the crash and was among the first to return last Monday.
Bethlehem College principal Eoin Crosbie said he found out Mr Fellows had been driving and not Mr Mmata on Saturday, following the Johnstons' funeral.
Mr Crosbie said the driver swap was unusual and should never have happened. The college had expected a local driver would be the only person driving on the trip.
The college's Kenyan partner, Calvine Ominde, was first to arrive at the crash scene and Mr Crosbie believed he may have kept the driver's identity secret in order to get the students home without police investigation.
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30/01/2013 8:28:29 p.m.
who could believe anything coming out of the 18yr olds mouth. hes killed people and then lied about being the driver
30/01/2013 4:01:15 p.m.
Send Mr Fellows back to Kenya to face justice there what a disgrace and a check that he left the country shame shame on him If I were the kenyins I would cut all ties to Bethlehim college.
30/01/2013 3:27:54 p.m.
Mary Smith wrote:
This event raises all sorts of questions about 'aid' and development and justice.
First worlders 'aiding' 3rd world and abandoning them to the consequences!
30/01/2013 2:49:59 p.m.
I am not wishing to add fuel to the fire, but was anyone on the minivan licenced to carry passengers?
30/01/2013 11:35:12 a.m.
It's hard to gather the sympathy for this group of amateurs. The group from Bethlehem College should never have been in Kenya to begin with. There exists professional NGOs that perform that task in a professional manner who are far more trained and equipped than a bunch of kids and adults on a glorified mission of self recognition. I suggest these amateurs stay well away from areas such as Kenya and leave it up to the professionals who know what are doing.
30/01/2013 8:30:08 a.m.
Funny how they're not talking about why their "God" didn't protect them from this debacle. Or tell them not to tell lies.
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