23 Jan 2011

Decorated ex-Army officer and two teens killed in crash

10:01 am on 23 January 2011

A decorated former Army officer has been confirmed as one of those killed in a head-on car horror crash near Waihi.

A car carrying four teenage boys hit another vehicle just before midnight on Friday on State Highway 2.

The force of the collision cut the car carrying the four boys in half.

Two teenagers died at the scene. They have been named as Dylan Perkinson, 17, and his passenger Vance Williams, 16.

Former lieutenant Mark Sydney, 44, who was driving the other car, also died at the scene of the crash.

He received a New Year's honour in 2007 for his work with the Royal New Zealand Military Police in Bosnia.

Two other teenagers were injured. One, aged 16, remained in critical condition in Waikato Hospital on Sunday, while a 17-year-old was in serious but stable condition.

Waikato road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman says initial analysis shows alcohol, speed and driver inexperience were all factors in the crash.

Neither the teen driver, nor his front seat passenger, were wearing seat belts.

Moments after the collision, a third car, which did not have time to stop, drove through the scene.

Sergeant Dave Litton said bodies had been thrown out of the vehicles and were driven over.

District Council member Anne Gilmer says the tragedy will affect the whole community. She says it will be a matter of everyone pulling together as best they can.