Rescued driver to be charged

01:18, Oct 24 2012

A 19-year-old driver who had to be rescued from the Waimea River along with his passengers, after getting his four-wheel-drive stuck, will be charged with driving while disqualified.

The police are also looking at whether the drivers of two vehicles that became stuck in the river in separate incidents during the past week could be charged in relation to the manner of their driving and the potential risk they placed their passengers under.

Emergency services, including the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter, were called to rescue driver Shay Fisher and three other young people on Sunday.

An 11-year-old passenger was swept 130 metres down the river after falling off the vehicle.

The police and the rescue helicopter were called to help after another vehicle became stuck at the same spot last Tuesday, stranding the occupants on the roof.

Sergeant Steve Savage, of Nelson, said Fisher would be charged with driving while disqualified.

The river was public land and, although it was not a road, disqualified drivers were not allowed to drive on public land, he said.

"If it's public land and you can get a car there, you shouldn't be driving."