Christchurch man admits his dangerous driving killed two children, injured two other family members

The District Court at Ōtautahi/Christchurch.
The District Court at Ōtautahi/Christchurch. Photo credit: RNZ / Nate McKinnon.

A Christchurch man has admitted causing the deaths of two of his children and injuring another and his wife when he lost control of his vehicle on the Canterbury Plains.

Ghomer Yaris Dulay moved to New Zealand from the Philippines in 2015.

He appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Friday, where he entered guilty pleas to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing injury.

Dulay married his wife Virginita Torregosa in 2019.

The 46-year-old's three children Christine, 22, Khatricia, 19, and Ian, 17, came to New Zealand in May last year with the intention of studying and working.

On 5 August last year, Dulay planned to take his family to see snow for the first time.

They left Christchurch in the early afternoon.

Dulay followed GPS instructions from a cellphone and drove along Rakaia Terrace Road, near Hororata.

The road changes from sealed road to a gravel surface.

"The defendant hit the accelerator rather than the brake when he hit the gravel surface at about 120 kilometres per hour," a summary of facts said.

"Approximately 2.8 seconds after entering the gravel section of the road, the defendant lost control of the vehicle. The rear of the vehicle swung clockwise and . . . the vehicle veered to the right-hand side of the road, across a grass area and the passenger side struck a tree. The vehicle spun around the tree and came to a stop on its roof.

"The defendant got out of the vehicle and pulled . . . Torregosa and Christine from the vehicle. [Dulay] was not able to pull . . . Khatricia and Ian from the vehicle."

Dulay's two youngest children were pronounced dead at the scene.

"The nature of the injuries to the victims Torregosa and Christine were such that Torregosa spent 10 nights in hospital with impact injuries to her left side. Christine remains in hospital undergoing regular surgeries suffering a fractured eye-socket and ribs, and injuries to her limbs and torso," the summary of facts said.

Dulay will be sentenced in June.