Crash victim's family calls for tourist driving testing

Chinese tourist Jieling Xiao (Newshub.)
Chinese tourist Jieling Xiao (Newshub.)

A Tauranga family is calling for more rigorous testing of tourist drivers and tougher sentences after the death of their son.

Motorcyclist Rhys Middleton was killed when Jieling Xiao crashed into him in February.

Xiao pleaded guilty to driving dangerously and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Her sentence was later dropped to home detention and community service.

Then she appealed and was deported. New Zealand First says she left at around 11 last night.

Mr Middleton's family says it's time for new laws that stop this from happening and prevent more people from dying.

They want visas holders to sit and pass a full New Zealand driver's licence test before they can drive here.

Rhys Middleton's brother, Ryan, was riding in front of him the day he was killed by a Chinese tourist. He still finds it hard to accept his brother's gone.

"You still think that he's just gonna turn up, you know, you hear a car pull up and look out the window to see who it is," he says.

Inside the family home sits the helmet that once belonged to Mr Middleton, and photos of him adorn the walls.

His mother says he was a good kid, an animal lover and no one said a bad word about him.

"We need to prevent these people from having accidents and if we can prevent them we wouldn't be in the position we're in today," says his mother, Judy.

"If you're going to get out there and drive on the road and commit a crime as bad as this you need to do your time," says his father, Mike, who's also a motorbike rider.

He says his son's death won't put him off doing what he loves, and he'll continue to ride - for his son.