Police in New Zealand said Thursday night that they charged a 20-year-old American in the crash that killed three Boston University students who were studying abroad.

 

Authorities did not identify the man, but said he was charged with three counts of careless driving causing death and four counts of careless driving causing injury. He is due in court in New Zealand overnight Boston time.

 

The crash that occurred about 7 a.m. Saturday New Zealand time killed Boston University students Austin Brashears, Roch Jauberty and Daniela Lekhno when the van they were riding in hit a patch of gravel and rolled over. The students were part of a larger group spread among multiple passenger vans on its way to a weekend excursion. Five other students were hurt in the crash.

 

The driver charged is also a Boston University student named Stephen Houseman, according to the Globe.

 

Police, in a statement released Friday afternoon New Zealand time, said they ruled out drugs, alcohol, and mechanical failures as factors in the crash.

 

"This is not a decision taken lightly and we understand the tragedy will already have had a significant impact on this young man," Bay of Plenty Road Policing Manager Inspector Kevin Taylor said in a statement. "However we are faced with a situation where three people have died and others are seriously injured and we must apply the law in an objective and dispassionate way."