15 Jun 2007

Misdemeanour conviction for US driver whose crash killed Tongan prince

1:52 pm on 15 June 2007

A jury in the US has convicted a teenage driver of misdemeanor manslaughter for causing a road crash that killed two members of Tonga's royal family and another person.

Edith Delgado was acquitted of more serious charges.

She was driving a car that sideswiped a Ford vehicle carrying Prince Tu'ipelehake, his wife, Princess Kaimana Aleamotu'a Tuku'aho and their driver, Vinisia Hefa.

Vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence can carry a jail sentence of up to three years.

A sentencing hearing is set for August the 24th.

Prince Tu'ipelehake's sons are suing Ford, claiming the 1998 Explorer's unsafe design was mainly responsible for their father's death.