Fatal crash: tourist ordered to pay $5k

Firefighters cut two German tourists from their car after a crash on SH25 in November. One of the tourists later died in hospital. - Photo: Facebook / Thames Volunteer Fire Brigade

A 19-year old German tourist has been ordered to pay $5000 in reparations after causing the death of his friend in a road crash near Thames in November.

Felix Eisele pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving causing death after he pulled out in front of a truck on State Highway 25 on 24 November.

His friend, Melanie Dangel, 19 and also from Germany, died in hospital a week after the crash.

Eisele appeared in the Thames District Court today and was ordered to pay reparation of $5000 to Ms Dangel’s family.

He was also disqualified from driving for a year and a half.

Judge Glen Marshall described it as a serious accident with far-reaching consequences.

He took into account Eisele’s age and that he had taken responsibility for his actions, even though the injuries he sustained in the crash left him with no recollection of what happened.

The court hear that the two were in a rental car driving from Hamilton to Hot Water Beach when the crash occurred.

Eisele pulled out from an intersection straight into the path of the oncoming truck and trailer unit. which was travelling at 80 kilometres an hour.

The truck ploughed into the driver’s side, shunting the vehicle down the road. Both Eisele and Ms Dangel had to be cut out of the wreckage and flown to hospital.

The court heard the Eisele had only been driving since earlier in the year.

In a letter to the Judge, Eisele said he wished he was the one that had died and that he accepted blame and was very remorseful.


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