24 Jan 2017

Man accused of attempted murder over Lake Dunstan crash

7:05 pm on 24 January 2017

A young foreign woman almost driven into Lake Dunstan is very shaken by her ordeal, police say.

Signage on a police van

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

A 20-year-old German man has been charged with attempted murder over what police are calling a domestic incident in the Cromwell Gorge.

They said on Sunday about 8pm the driver of a white Toyota LiteAce van tried to drive himself and the woman into the lake, but it got caught by a crash barrier.

Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said the pair had left a campsite at Champagne Gully and were driving towards Cromwell when the man attempted to drive off a 60-100m cliff.

Should the car have gone in, "it would not have been a good result", Mr Inglis said.

The pair were in a relationship and while the woman was only slightly hurt, she was very shaken, he said.

"They are young foreigners, a long way from home and a long way from support. When someone tries something like this, it has to be concerning."

Mr Inglis said police wanted to speak to the driver of a black car travelling south that picked up the crashed car's driver.

The 20-year-old was due to appear in the Queenstown District Court on Thursday.