Hororata crash: Father charged with careless driving causing death of two of his children

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A father has been charged with careless driving causing the death of two of his children while on their way to see the snow at Mt Hutt.

Emergency services were called to the double-fatal crash on Rakaia Terrace Rd at 2.46pm on Saturday, August 5.

Khatricia Dulay, 19, and Ian Dulay, 17, died following the collision. Their elder sister, 22-year-old Christine Dulay, was critically injured as was their father’s partner, Virginita Torregosa. Their father, Ghomer Dulay, suffered moderate injuries.

On Friday, Ghomer Dulay made a brief appearance before a registrar at the Christchurch District Court facing four charges in relation to the crash.

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He faces two charges of driving a motor vehicle at a speed which was dangerous and thereby caused the death of Khatricia Dulay and Ian Dulay.

The two remaining charges allege he drove a motor vehicle at a speed which was dangerous and caused injury to Christine Dulay and Torregosa.

The 46-year-old will next appear in the Christchurch District Court on September 8.

Ghomer Dulay earlier told the Herald how he was taking his three children on a road trip to see the fresh snowfall on Mt Hutt for the first time.

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“We were happy,” Dulay said.

The family’s morning had been full of “laughing and joking” and cooking together, enjoying each other’s company after eight years of living apart.

Dulay and his partner moved to Christchurch in 2015 and his children had only arrived here from the Philippines in May.

“They wanted to see the snow. It’s their first time here and I wanted to because they’re happy, I want to make them happy.”

The children’s mother earlier spoke to the Herald from the Philippines, with a relative helping to translate.

She last saw her children on May 25 when they left the Philippines with their father for a new life.

Ian Dulay, 17, and Khatricia Dulay, 19, were killed in a crash near Rakaia.
Ian Dulay, 17, and Khatricia Dulay, 19, were killed in a crash near Rakaia.

“They migrate for good so they will have a better future.

“They want to have a better life, so they live in New Zealand.”

The decision to let them leave was “very hard”, she said. The children were also sad to be leaving their mother but “excited” for what lay ahead. Their father, who flew to the Philippines to pick them up, had lived in New Zealand since 2015.

She last spoke to her children a day before the crash. They were “very happy” with their new lives, and had spent some of their day at the mall.

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Khatricia Dulay (left) and her aunt Jinena Tats-Quin Abellera.
Khatricia Dulay (left) and her aunt Jinena Tats-Quin Abellera.

The children had routinely called her since they arrived to provide updates and would also send her photos of their travels.

What had happened was “devastating”, the relative said.

“She’s so very, very sad when she heard the news and also said that she can’t live without her children.”

Her children were “so kind, loveable, jolly and generous”.

Sam Sherwood is a Christchurch-based reporter. He is a senior journalist who joined the Herald in 2022, and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.



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