Names of Waimate crash victims released

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Timaru police have released the names of the two people who died after the vehicle they were travelling in crashed into a gully near Waimate on Saturday night.

They were 21-year-old Jeremy Niell Johnson, of Timaru, and Samantha Michelle Bradley, 18, of Waimate.

Timaru police Acting Sergeant Bryan Ennis said two others, whose names and ages have not been released, survived the crash. Their condition was not known yesterday.

Police said it appeared that both of the deceased were not wearing safety belts.

Speed and alcohol were also allegedly contributing factors to the crash.

Fire, St John Ambulance and Police from Waimate and Timaru were called to the crash after one of the injured occupants was found on State Highway 82 Waihao Downs, about 8am on Sunday.

From an initial scene examination, it appeared the vehicle had been travelling towards Kurow from Waimate and had failed to take an easy left hand bend, leaving the road and ending up in the bottom of a small gully.

Only once vehicle was involved.

Mr Ennis said no further information was available as inquiries were continuing.

By Rebecca Ryan