A thirteen-year-old boy woken up to drive drinking guests home from an all-night wedding party could face serious criminal charges after he crashed, killing a teenage relative.
Mary-Lee Huata, 17, was travelling home from the wedding after-party at a nearby marae when the Toyota Hilux truck she was in crashed in Putere Rd, Raupunga, 7km south of Wairoa, about 5.30am on Monday.
Her death took the holiday road toll to three.
A relative told The Dominion Post he understood that the 13-year-old who was behind the wheel was Mary-Lee's cousin. "All I know was the young boy was woken up to drive them. There were four to five still drinking."
The group had been at a Boxing Day party after Mary-Lee's mother was married on Christmas Day.
Sergeant Aubrey Ormond of Wairoa said the boy could face serious criminal charges despite his age. Police would investigate why he was behind the wheel – including whether or not he was the only person sober enough to drive. Serious crash investigators would also consider weather conditions, speed and other possible factors in the crash.
We hope that as well as considering charges against the 13-year-old, police charge whoever made the incredibly stupid decision to let the child drive. We cannot imagine what must have possessed the adults involved, apart perhaps from the demon drink and a certain herb which grows locally.
Stupid is as stupid does.