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Man charged after Muriwai Beach ute crash that killed teen girl

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Feb 2024, 2:44PM

Man charged after Muriwai Beach ute crash that killed teen girl

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Feb 2024, 2:44PM

Police have charged a 20-year-old man after the death of 19-year-old Madison Chamberlain on Muriwai Beach last month.

Detective Senior Sergeant Jason McIntosh said the man would face a charge of dangerous driving causing death in the Waitākere District Court on February 23.

“Madison’s death has had a profound impact for her family and loved ones, and the Serious Crash Unit has worked to investigate what led to the tragic event occurring,” McIntosh said.

A fisherman told the Herald he saw the ute before it flipped, throwing Chamberlain from the vehicle and crushing her.

Emergency services and two rescue helicopters rushed to the scene on Auckland’s west coast about 2.30pm on January 21.

The man, who did not want to be named, said a girl was in the back of the ute as a man drove it on the beach doing doughnuts.

Emergency services on Muriwai Beach after a ute rolled, ejecting and killing 19-year-old Madison Chamberlain on January 21. Photo / Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

Emergency services on Muriwai Beach after a ute rolled, ejecting and killing 19-year-old Madison Chamberlain on January 21. Photo / Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

Chamberlain’s employer, New World New Lynn, remembered her online: “Maddie worked on the checkouts in our store, she was a beautiful and kind people-person and much loved by us all.

“We’re so sad, looking after each other here and heartbroken for Maddie’s family, friends and every one of us who had the privilege to know and love her.”

Madison Chamberlain, 19, was killed in the ute crash on Muriwai Beach last month. Photo / New World New Lynn
Madison Chamberlain, 19, was killed in the ute crash on Muriwai Beach last month. Photo / New World New Lynn

The incident led to calls for cars to be banned on the popular Auckland beach to stop similar deaths.

Rodney local board chair Brent Bailey told the Herald that vehicles were in direct conflict with those who wanted to use the beach for activities such as kite surfing or sunbathing.

“As a Muriwai resident and someone who supports the decision to ban [vehicles], I have sympathy for the regional park staff who have to deal with the amount of traffic and congestion and competing uses,” he said.

“The immature behaviour by a small segment of the community has already caused tragedy – and I think it’s probably avoidable.”

Resident Ed Donald said he’d been pushing for years to have better policing of vehicle access to the beach.

He said the speed limit of 60km/h on the beach was ridiculous and it should be dropped to 10km/h. Police should also be deployed to prosecute rule-breakers.

“We have been asking and asking for more policing on the beach and they just say, ‘We don’t have the resources’.”

Donald said Chamberlain’s death was “tragic” and feared more could follow if action wasn’t taken.

“How many deaths do you need?”

Rachel Maher is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. She has worked for the Herald since 2022.

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