Speed is believed to be a factor in the accident that
ripped apart this BMW. Photo from APN.
Two teenage boys are fighting for their lives after a
drag race on a rural highway ended horrifically.
The passengers, Noel Eparaima and another understood to have
the christian name TeRangi, were taken to Hawke's Bay
Hospital with life-threatening injuries after the BMW they
were in "catapulted into the air" and crashed on Racecourse
Rd, 70km south of Napier, late on Thursday night.
The Herald on Sunday understands the boys - aged 16
and 17 - had earlier left a party with two others, Menassah
Fraser, 19, and Hope Pere, 18, in the car.
The crash left a wreck one police officer described as the
most "graphic" he had seen in 16 years.
"We know one of them died and was revived," said Hastings
police Senior Constable Tim Rowe.
Hawke's Bay Hospital spokeswoman Anna Kirk said one of the
pair, understood to be TeRangi, received serious brain
injuries and had been transferred to Wellington Hospital on
Friday night for further treatment. He remains in a critical
The Hawke's Bay Today reported party-goers had earlier
that evening attempted to take the keys from someone wanting
to drive the BMW.
Police said they believed the car was racing another vehicle
which fled the scene after the crash. Police have not spoken
to the driver of that vehicle but have appealed for them to
Eparaima's mother, Tamara Stewart, said she didn't care about
the fleeing driver and was focused on her son.
"I'm just worried about my son, I don't care what anyone else
thinks," Stewart said. "My son is fighting for his life,
there is nothing to talk about."
Messages of grief and support were posted on Facebook
Fraser's twin sister Memphis wrote: "Menassah Fraser you are
my other half, there's no me without you, I'm not leaving
your side, we going to get through this together however many
sleepless nights." She posted an emotional photo of her and
Menassah holding hands in the hospital, saying: "Hand in hand
sis, I've got you."
A friend who had visited Hope Pere in hospital said she
suffered from a fractured spine, a broken collarbone and
Rowe said the car hit a drain and a concrete abutment before
flying 30-40m in the air, where it "disintegrated" and came
to a halt.
"We expected to see three or four fatals. How anyone survived
is a miracle, it's pretty horrific," he said.
Police believed the crash was fuelled by speed and alcohol.
Not all passengers were wearing their seatbelts.
"Bloods were taken from the driver because it was suspected
she had... been drinking. The front-left passenger was
wearing a seatbelt and that side got the worst impact, but we
don't think they were all restrained."
- Chloe Johnson of Herald on
Sunday/Additional reporting Hawke's Bay Today