S'porean tourist charged with dangerous driving in New Zealand
A SINGAPOREAN man has been charged with dangerous driving over a four-vehicle accident in New Zealand that killed a motorcyclist.
Lew Wei Kiong, 29, had been due to appear in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday to face a count of dangerous driving causing death, but the case was adjourned to Dec 22. He was charged last Friday.
Three new charges of dangerous driving causing injury were also due to be brought against him, according to the Otago Daily Times.
Lew, who works at the Energy Market Authority (EMA), was involved in the accident along the state highway in North Otago, about 20km south of Oamaru, on Nov 29.
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, an EMA spokesman said two of its colleagues had been in a car accident while on holiday in New Zealand. One of them is still in hospital.
"Our immediate concern is to render care and support to help them through this difficult time. As this case is now before the courts in New Zealand, it would not be appropriate for us to make any further comments at this time," the spokesman added.
Lew was driving a rented Toyota and allegedly crossed the double yellow lines on the highway to overtake a group of cars, reported stuff.co.nz. He crashed into two cars and a motorcycle travelling in the opposite direction.
The passenger in the Toyota, whom Lianhe Wanbao reported to be a 31-year-old woman working at EMA, had to be cut from the car and was flown to Dunedin Public Hospital with serious injuries.
Wanbao said the woman and Lew are believed to be working in different departments at EMA.
Five others suffered injuries, while the motorcyclist, 39-year-old Craig Alan Chambers, died at the scene.
The New Zealand police blamed the car crash on driver "inattention".
The accident reportedly reignited a debate over tourist drivers and the condition of roads in New Zealand, with Labour Party MP Damien O'Connor suggesting that poor road design could have led to the crash.
He said that certain roads on the country's south island could be confusing for foreign drivers and clearer signage was needed.