--
 
How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Seat belts save 4, crash kills 3

2013-06-13 08:52

CLEANING UP: A minivan with students from the abroad rolled four times in New Zealand after the driver over-corrected and lost control. Image: AP

ROTORUA, New Zealand - Three university students killed near Rotorua, New Zealand, when their minivan rolled might have survived had they been wearing seat belts – sounds like a classic advertisement for buckling-up.

Constable Tina Mitchell-Ellis told a coroner's court the three students from Boston in the US who died and a fourth who suffered brain trauma in the crash in May 2012 weren't wearing a belt and were thrown from the van. Four others who were belted suffered only minor injuries.

The students were in New Zealand on a study-abroad programme and were driving to the start of a hike.

ROLLED FOUR TIMES

The driver, Stephen Houseman, pleaded guilty at the time to careless driving and was disqualified from driving for six months.

Mitchell-Ellis said Houseman had reminded the others to buckle-up. Later he became distracted and drove on to the side of the road before over-correcting. The van rolled four times.

Houseman said: "As we were flipping, everyone was screaming but it was more like a roller-coaster scream. I just kept screaming 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' I didn't know what else to say."

Police said alcohol and drugs weren't involved and the debris indicated Houseman probably wasn't speeding when he crashed. Police said it was his first time driving in New Zealand and his first time driving a minivan.



NEXT ON WHEELS24X
Read more on:    new zealand  |  crash

Inside Wheels24

WATCH: Joburg traffic cop corruption caught on dashcam?

A motorist has allegedly captured JMPD traffic officer corruption via his dashcam. The driver? Tony Beamish, senior journalist from Carte Blanche. Watch his clips and decide for yourself.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.