Boston University student pleads guilty in New Zealand for role in fatal crash

A Boston University undergraduate student has pleaded guilty to careless driving charges in New Zealand in connection with a crash there in May that claimed the lives of three other BU students, according to the nation’s Ministry of Justice.

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Stephen Houseman, 20, of Massapequa, N.Y., pleaded guilty in Auckland District Court on Tuesday night Eastern Standard Time and was barred from driving in New Zealand for six months, according to a Justice spokesman. He received no jail time.

Houseman was driving a rental van near Turangi, New Zealand, on May 12 that hit a patch of gravel, causing him to lose control of the vehicle before it rolled.

Killed in the crash were junior Austin Brashears, 21, of Huntington Beach, Calif.; junior Daniela Lekhno, 20, of Manalapan, N.J.; and sophomore Roch Jauberty, 21, of Paris, who grew up in California.

Another BU student, Meg Theriault, 21, of Salisbury, was seriously injured and is now in stable condition at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand, according to a spokeswoman.