Tourist's chaotic driving made passenger ill

KEITH LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 02/12/2011

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Dangerous driving by a Malaysian tourist caused a member of his family to vomit when the vehicle was stopped by police only hours after they arrived in New Zealand.

On Tuesday, the 49-year-old Malaysian man and five family members flew into Christchurch before renting a car and embarking on a chaotic drive to Kaikoura, police said.

Senior Constable Andy Grant, of Kaikoura, said members of the public phoned police to report a green Toyota rental car travelling north on State Highway 1.

About 7pm, the car was spotted travelling at high speeds crossing the Waiau Bridge "totally on the wrong side of the road", Grant said.

The car reached speeds of up to 130kmh and narrowly avoided two head-on collisions with vehicles as it crossed the centre-line.

The driver was also taking corners at dangerous speeds on the wrong side of the road, Grant said.

The vehicle was intercepted about 20 kilometres south of Kaikoura near Oaro.

"The patrol car had its flashing lights on top and the vehicle approached the patrol car on a straight section of road and was three-quarters on the wrong side of the road," he said. After a pursuit of about 1 kilometre the driver stopped.

"One of the female passengers ... exited and vomited all over the road," Grant said.

There were six people in the car, aged from 10 to 66.

"He [the driver] has been arrested for dangerous driving and will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Monday," Grant said.

A family member drove the rental car behind the patrol car to the family's accommodation in Kaikoura. The driver was released on bail.

His rental contract was cancelled and the car repossessed.

"Unfortunately, in the summer you do get this," Grant said. He thanked the people who reported the driver and urged anyone who saw similar erratic driving to call police on 033637400.

"It was very fortunate no members of the public were injured or killed in the incident."

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- The Press

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