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Manslaughter trial for Ohaupo road deaths

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/04/2017

Two teenagers accused of causing the deaths of four people following an alleged street race near Hamilton Airport last year will face trial by jury later this year.

Dylan Cossey and Stephen Jones, both 19, have been charged with four counts of manslaughter each following the incident near Ohaupo where a van collided with a car in June.

Hamilton woman Hannah Lei Strickett-Craze, 24, Te Awamutu men Paul De Silva, 20, and Lance Robinson, 28, and Stratford teen Jason McCormick Ross, 19, died as a result of the crash.

Eye witnesses allege two cars had been racing between Te Awamutu and Hamilton on State Highway 3 before the accident, which resulted the victims' Nissan Skyline splitting in two.

The driver of the oncoming van, Matthew Scheepers, suffered serious leg injuries.

At the time, police said speed and alcohol were believed to be factors in the crash.

Cossey, the driver of the second car, has also been charged with five counts of unnecessary exhibition of speed and one of failing to stop to render assistance.

His passenger Jones is also facing five charges of encouraging unnecessary speed.

The men, who pleaded not guilty to the lesser charges, have been further remanded on bail until their next court appearance on June 6.

They will face a nine-day trial starting in the High Court at Hamilton on October 30.

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