16 Mar 2013

Family delighted with not guilty crash verdicts

6:14 am on 16 March 2013

A friend of two family members found not guilty of killing two teenage girls in a car crash says they believe the jury's verdicts are just.

James Papalili, a social worker, was speaking on behalf of Philippa Morehu and Haki Davey, who were found not guilty of manslaughter on Friday.

Sisters Brooklyn and Merepeka Morehu-Clark, aged 13 and 14, died after the car they were in, driven by their cousin Hetaraka Reihana, ploughed into an oncoming vehicle head on.

The girls' mother Philippa Morehu and another cousin, Haki Davey, were also in the car at the time.

Mr Papalili says the family is delighted with the verdicts and is still grieving for the two dead girls.

He says it has been a long journey for the family and has really brought them together.

"This really showed them that there is justice so this was an awesome outcome when we heard the verdict."

Hetaraka Reihana has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is awaiting sentence.