15-year-old driver killed in New Zealand rally crash

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A 15-year-old rally driver and his co-driver were killed Sunday when their car left the road and plunged into a river at a rallysprint event at Paparoa in the north of New Zealand.

Police named the victims as Brooklyn Horan, 15, who was driving and his co-driver Tyson Jemmett, 35.

A police crash investigator said the car had slid off a gravel road into a river swollen by rain.

While New Zealanders cannot obtain a driver’s license until they are 16, younger drivers are able to compete in motorsport events on closed roads under certain conditions.

Governing body MotorSport New Zealand said it “offers Junior Competition Licenses for competitors aged 12 to 15.

“There are heightened requirements that these junior drivers must meet in order to gain their competition license as well as restrictions placed on the types of events and vehicles they are permitted to compete in.”

MotorSport New Zealand pointed out that leading race drivers Scott Dixon, Liam Lawson and rally driver Haydon Patton all competed before their 16th birthdays.

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing