German tourist killed in triple-fatal Southland crash 'looking for adventure'

kavinda Herath / stuff

Suzanne Harvey was one of the first at the scene of the fatal crash in Dipton on Sunday night.

German tourist Marina Liebl desperately wanted to explore New Zealand and meet new people.

Just a few days days into her trip, she was killed when her vehicle collided with an oncoming car in Southland about 9.40pm on Sunday.

The driver of the other car, Jesse Shortland, and his wife, Samantha, died at the scene. The Shortlands' 8-month-old daughter, Skylar, and 2-year-old son, Heath, were pulled from their car seats at the crash scene. The toddler had moderate injuries, the baby had minor injuries.

Marina Liebl, a 22-year-old from Germany, died in a triple fatal crash in Southland on Sunday.
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Marina Liebl, a 22-year-old from Germany, died in a triple fatal crash in Southland on Sunday.

Speaking from Nuremberg, Germany, Liebl's former colleague at engineering and electronics company Bosch, Mevlut Mufti, told Stuff the 22-year-old wanted to travel to New Zealand by herself.

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"She had told me for a long time that she would like to go to New Zealand to explore it and meet many new people. She was looking for adventure."

Jesse and Samantha Shortland died in a head-on crash in Southland on Sunday night. Their two young children survived.
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Jesse and Samantha Shortland died in a head-on crash in Southland on Sunday night. Their two young children survived.

Mufti said he and other colleagues warned her against travelling alone.

"I told her she would be too young and inexperienced in a foreign country. I said it could be dangerous if you were travelling alone."

On Wednesday he was told Liebl, who was from Nuremberg, was killed in the triple-fatal crash. He was unsure what caused the collision.

Suzanne Harvey was one of the first at the scene at the Dipton Winton Highway triple-fatal crash.
KAVINDA HERATH/STUFF

Suzanne Harvey was one of the first at the scene at the Dipton Winton Highway triple-fatal crash.

"We are all very traumatised about her death and about the family who have also died in the accident."

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Liebl posted on a backpackers' Facebook page on October 2 asking for advice on which jacket was necessary for the next few months while she travelled the country.

She said she flew into the country on Tuesday and started in the South Island.

She posted again on October 5 to say she was in Queenstown: "My first destination in New Zealand. Anyone who wants to explore the city?"

Three days later she was killed on the Dipton-Winton Highway, State Highway 6, near Ladbrook Rd.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

On Wednesday, Jesse Shortland's sister, Krystal-Leigh Shortland, said the family's main focus was looking after the couple's children. A Givealittle page had been created with all proceeds to go into a joint account to help with ongoing costs for the young ones.

It was unclear what would happen with the children, Krystal-Leigh Shortland said, but they would stay with the family.

"They are being well looked after."

She said the couple moved from Brisbane to "start a new life" in Invercargill about three months ago.

Her brother was her "first best friend".

"He was a really caring man. Since he became a dad he was even extra caring and loving as well."

 - Stuff

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