Eight family members, including a six-month-old boy and two
young girls, were injured in a horrific van crash on the
Napier-Taupo Rd after the driver is believed to have fallen
Three of the family - the baby boy, a 12-year-old girl and a
man in his 30s - are in critical condition in Hawke's Bay
Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.
All eight people are being treated at the hospital.
Senior Sergeant Stuart Fleming of Hastings police said the
van had now also been recovered from the crash scene, near Te
The family were travelling from Auckland to Hawkes Bay.
An investigation into the cause of the crash was ongoing, Mr
Police said the van had plunged 40m down a bank, however a
spokeswoman for the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter, which
was involved in winching passengers to safety, said the drop
The helicopter spokeswoman said the driver of the van had
A man and the baby were thrown free from the van, but the
man, who had serious injuries, was able to climb to the road
and alert a passing motorist.
The remaining six people were trapped and had to be removed
by emergency services, and then winched to the road by
Three rescue helicopters were dispatched to help with the
rescue, with the Lowe Corporation chopper winching four
passengers from the scene, and airlifting a woman and girl
with spinal injuries to hospital.
The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter from Taupo took the
six-month-old baby and a 22-year-old man to hospital, and
winched out the remaining two passengers.
Greenlea pilot Nat Every said the baby had multiple traumatic
injuries, while the man had neck and upper back injuries.
Mr Every said there were several obstructions for the
winching operation, including trees and power lines.
The Bay Trust Rescue helicopter from Rotorua also took one
patient to hospital, while a further three people were taken
by road ambulance.
The road was closed for several hours as the trapped people
Jim Andrew from the Tarawera Cafe, on the Napier-Taupo Rd,
said traffic backed up for about 1km on each side of the
His cafe, about 3km away on the Taupo side, was "full up''
with stuck motorists, he said.
A Hawke's Bay Hospital spokeswoman said this afternoon the
baby boy, a 12-year-old girl and a man in his 30s were in
critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit.
A woman and man, both in their 30s, and a girl, 9, had been
moved from general wards into the High Dependency Unit, and
were all in serious condition.
Two men, one in his 20s and one in his 40s, were in stable
condition in a ward.