28 February 2024

Tragedy strikes tourist family, mother dies in crash

Tragedy struck a family from Gurgaon (India) when Kusum Sarin, 63, was killed in a head-on car collision near Palmerston North Airport on December 28 last year.

Her son, Vicky Sarin(41) was driving the car when the accident happened. He collided with an oncoming high speed 4WD, driven by a 16-year old who escaped with only minor injuries to his leg.

His mother, Kusum was a passenger in the back seat behind his son and died at the scene. His wife and child were hospitalised with serious injuries while his 12-year-old daughter suffered a broken arm. 

Sarin was sentenced yesterday (4th January) in the Palmerston North District Court for careless driving causing death of his mother and injuring four others. 

Sarin and his family arrived in the country on December 20 and were touring the North Island. While driving along Roberts Line in Palmerston North, he went through the railway crossing, but failed to halt at the intersection stop sign.

This was Sarin’s third visit to New Zealand in recent years.

The Judge, Gerrard Lynch, disqualified Sarin from driving for 12 months. He also ordered him to pay $750 to the driver of the 4WD involved in the mishap. 

The Judge said “Mr Sarin blames himself and has said, over and over, he wishes it was him and not his mother who was killed.

“This has been an unbearable pain. That loss and your guilt will be difficult to bear.” 

It is believed he flew back to India immediately after the sentencing to perform the last rites of his deceased mother.

Also read ‘Road Deaths in NZ’

There have been several fatal car accidents involving Indian drivers in recent period.

Tarandeep Singh Deol, a resident of Tauranga, was killed and another passenger seriously injured in a single car crash near Te Puna Road, near Tauranga on December 22. It is believed he was returning from work when the accident happened at 4.30am.

Two months earlier on October 14, another Indian was among two killed in a head-on car crash along a deadly stretch of Taranaki highway. Both drivers died at the scene when one of the cars crossed the centre line.

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