Timaru car crash: Driver out of hospital as funerals continue for teens killed

The sole survivor of a crash that claimed the lives of five Timaru teenagers has been discharged from hospital.

Javarney Wayne Drummond, 15, Niko William Hill, 15, Jack “Jacko” Wallace, 16, Joseff “Joey” McCarthy, 16, and Andrew Goodger, 15, were all killed when the Nissan Bluebird they were travelling in smashed into a concrete power pole.

The impact was so severe, it sliced the car in half.

Only the driver, 19-year-old Tyreese Fleming, who was on a restricted licence, survived the smash.

He was taken to Timaru Hospital with moderate injuries and was well enough to post a message on social media the next day to let people know he was alive.

All of last week his condition was listed as stable.

But today a hospital spokeswoman confirmed Fleming was no longer a patient.

As of last week police were yet to speak to Fleming.

Their investigation into the crash is ongoing and is likely to take some time as they piece together exactly what happened.

Fleming and his family are yet to respond to the Herald.

Funerals were held last week for Andrew, Javarney and Niko.

Joseff’s service will be held tomorrow and people attending have been asked to wear something “fun and funky” to reflect his “awesome fashion sense”.

It is understood a private service will be held for Jack Wallace.

A death notice was published for him at the weekend.

“Our hearts are breaking as we say goodbye to you Jack,” it said.

“Jack will be sorely missed and forever in our hearts. Fly free our darling boy R.I.P.”

Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said last week speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

One of the boys was in the boot when the car hit the pole and it was unclear who, if anyone, was wearing seatbelts at the time of impact.

“We won’t be speaking to the driver until we have got a little bit more information – obviously the investigation is very early days at the moment, and it would be better to speak to him when we have as much information as possible,” he said.

Melissa Bryce, a 34-year-old single mother of three, was driving from her home nearby into Timaru for a night out with friends as a sober driver when she came across the carnage on Seadown Rd.

Bryce, a property manager trained in first aid, pulled over and rushed to see what she could do.

In the dark, with no streetlights, it was hard to establish just what had happened.

The first thing she saw was the rear half of the car.

She saw two people in the back.

She called out, asking if anyone could hear her. Nobody responded.

“Just by looking at the scene you could tell they hadn’t survived,” Bryce told the Herald from her home today.

But from somewhere in the darkness behind her, a voice said: “How the f*** did I survive this?”

“That’s when I realised there was a survivor,” Bryce said.

She went back to her car to grab her phone, wanting to use it as a torch.

After turning it on the scene, she saw the front part of the car.

The driver was still in the vehicle. She is unsure if he had a seatbelt on.

She went up to him and told him her name and asked if he realised what had happened.

Bryce asked the driver, who was clutching his cellphone, to turn off the car’s ignition.

“He was in shock, you could tell,” Bryce said.

“He was able to tell me that, yes, he had been in an accident and then kept saying, ‘How did I survive?’.

“I just kept talking to him, asking his name, his age, where did he work, what were the plans for tonight, and everything like that. Just making sure he made contact with me, to keep him awake.”

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