A young Hamilton man has been found guilty of manslaughter for the deaths of four people in a street race near Hamilton Airport.
Dylan Cossey, who was in his late teens at the time of the crash in June 2016, appeared in Hamilton High Court on four counts of manslaughter.
The 20-year-old was also found guilty of injuring a van driver the car he was racing against crashed into, and for failing to stop.
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Cossey appeared alongside Stephen Jones, also 20, who was found not guilty on all counts of manslaughter and injury to the van driver. He was, however, found guilty for failing to stop and perverting the course of justice.
Cossey, who was the driver of the other car involved in the street race, fled the scene at the time of the crash, with Jones occupying the passenger seat.
Eyewitnesses allege two cars had been racing between Te Awamutu and Hamilton on State Highway 3 before the accident, which resulted in one vehicle - a Nissan Skyline - splitting in two.
The crash caused the deaths of Hannah Lei Strickett-Craze, 24, Paul De Silva, 20, Lance Robinson, 28, and Stratford's Jason McCormick Ross, 19.
The family of Jason McCormick Ross, provided a statement to Newshub journalist Cleo Fraser:
“The only wrong thing my son did on the night of 24 June 2016 was to make a bad decision and entrust a new acquaintance, Lance Robinson, with his life and become an innocent passenger in this man’s vehicle.
“We are relieved with the outcome today and we that the ‘boy racer community’ reflects on this guilty verdict and comes to some conclusions that their illegal and criminal behaviour on our roads is not tolerated, and takes innocent, precious lives like that of my son.”
“Stephen Jones' lesser charges in our minds in no way reflects his innocence but is merely a result of a jury unable to convict him without reasonable doubt.”
Lawyers are seeking bail for the pair, and court will reconvene at 1pm to hear their submissions.
Cossey and Jones' sentencing date is April 20, 2018.