Exclusive Brethren man sentenced over triple fatality crash

A Northland Brethren Church member has been sentenced to community detention for four months on Friday over a triple fatality car crash that killed his wife and daughter. He will be placed under curfew, supervision and will be disqualified from driving for a year.

Russell Stewart had eight passengers in his five-seater Mitsubishi Triton when he crashed into a tree near Dargaville in 2016.

The accident caused the deaths of wife Susanna Stewart, 48, daughter Sadie, 16, and fellow church member James Wearmouth, 18.

In January, Stewart pleaded guilty to charges of three counts of careless driving causing death and four of careless driving causing bodily injury.

Charges of failing to stop at a crash scene and driving under the influence were dropped.