Crash driver clocked speeding

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 08/07/2014
Abi and Ella
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REMEMBERED: Facebook offered a less formal and more immediate forum to grieve for Abigail Ann Hone, left, and Ella Yasmin Summerfield, both aged 12, who died in a crash in Rakaia a fortnight ago.
Johannes Jacobus Appelman
Dean Kozanic
CRASH DRIVER: Johannes Jacobus Appelman pleaded guilty to charges relating to the triple fatality collision.
Sally Rumble and Ella Summerfield
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CLOSE BOND: Mother and daughter Sally Rumble and Ella Summerfield, 12, died along with Abi Hone in the crash.

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A Dutch driver who caused a crash that killed Christchurch mother Sally Rumble and schoolgirls Abi Hone and Ella Summerfield was caught speeding earlier that day.

Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, was clocked by a speed camera on State Highway 1, at Burnham, about 10am on May 31 - hours before the triple-fatality crash.

Appelman, who crashed a different rental car the previous night, was travelling 108kmh in the 100kmh zone, The Press has learned.

A speeding ticket was issued, as police had a 4kmh speed tolerance in force during the Queen's Birthday weekend.

About 3.55pm that afternoon, Appelman ran a stop sign at the intersection of Somerton Rd and Thompson's Track, near Rakaia.

His rented late-model Subaru station wagon T-boned the Summerfield family's southbound Volvo. They were headed to Ohau for the holiday weekend.

The crash killed Abi, Ella, both 12, and Sally Rumble, 49, instantly.

Rumble's husband, Shane Summerfield, was driving the Volvo. He was seriously injured and spent two days in an induced coma.

A householder at Appelman's bail address said she was aware of the speeding ticket, but he was under instructions from his lawyer not to speak to media.

Appelman was driving a car he hired from Touchdown Rentals after checking out of his Christchurch hotel about 9.30am.

Director Thomas Patterson said staff "certainly weren't aware" of an earlier crash that day involving Appelman when they rented him the vehicle.

In the earlier crash, Appelman drove a car he rented from Apex Rentals into a ditch on Johns Rd, near Christchurch Airport, about 1am. No other cars were involved and nobody was injured. Apex Rentals refused Appelman a replacement vehicle.

Patterson refused to discuss the speeding infringement.

"At the end of the day, we've got a contractual agreement with Mr Appelman which covers confidentiality," Patterson said.

"Anything we were asked for from police we have forwarded to them."

Police refused to comment.

Appelman will be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to three counts of careless driving causing death and one of careless driving causing injury.

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At the Christchurch District Court appearance, Appelman's lawyer, Philip Shamy, said his client was "not a tourist".

Appelman was a businessman, who regularly travelled in New Zealand and Australia.

- The Press

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