Teen driver avoids jail after the death of three passengers in crash

A 15-year-old Canterbury teenager has been ordered to pay $2000 to emergency services after causing the deaths of three passengers on Boxing Day last year.

The then 14-year-old, who has not been named, crashed near the rural Canterbury town of Leeston, killing three 15-year-olds who were in the car at the time.

As part of the sentence they will also have to present at least 10 presentations to schools and community groups about the crash, what led to it, and the aftermath.

The teen has been released on bail but will have curfew's in place and will be disqualified from driving for 12 months after their 16th birthday.

In the Christchurch Youth Court on Tuesday, victim impact statements were read during the sentencing.

One other passenger, the only one wearing a seatbelt, who survived with minor injuries, said they hoped people would learn from the driver's mistake and would do anything for the three others to still be alive.

A mother of one of the victim's also read a statement where she said the driver was a kind boy with a kind heart and has no anger towards him.

It's believed the teen driver failed to take a corner and hit a mound, flying through the air for around 14 metres before smashing into a row of trees.

At the time, Police Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff regretted the number of fatal accidents due to people not wearing seat belts.

"We thought we'd won that battle but it seems it's come back and with a vengeance, to have so many people killed with just not wearing a safety belt," he told Newshub in early January.