A Boston University student from Massapequa has been charged in a New Zealand crash that took the lives of three of his fellow students, it was reported Friday.
Stephen Houseman, 20, has been charged with careless driving causing the deaths of Nicholas Jauberty, 21, a California native who lived in Paris, Daniela Lekhno, 20, of Manalapan, N.J. and Austin Brashears, 21 of Huntington Beach, Calif., according to the New Zealand Herald.
Authorities said they believe Houseman over-corrected after drifting onto gravel on the left side of the road, according to the paper.
"We have ruled out any use of drugs or alcohol by any of the young people involved, including the driver," said Kevin Taylor a New Zealand police inspector.
Taylor said the decision to charge Houseman was not taken lightly.
"However we are faced with a situation where three people have died and others are seriously injured and we must apply the law in an objective and dispassionate way," he told the paper.
"The process from here is that the case will be put before the court. Once the court process is concluded it will then be for the Coroner to make the final determination about cause of death."
Houseman appeared in court with an arm in a sling and was remanded without a plea. He is scheduled to appear again next month.
The students were part of a study abroad program and were part of a convoy of two minivans heading to hike Tongariro Crossing, a popular New Zealand trail, according to the Boston Globe.