Photo / Paul Taylor
Eight members of a family who were injured when their van
hurtled down a cliff on the Napier Taupo road last week are
recovering well in hospital, a family member says.
All eight occupants of the van, which was crushed in the
15-metre drop, were airlifted to Hawkes Bay Hospital injuries
ranging from with serious to critical last Thursday.
The injured driver, Sandeep Singh, managed to climb back up
the cliff carrying his seriously injured baby nephew to alert
a passing motorist to the crash.
Today family spokesperson Baldev Raj said the family was
A 9-year-old girl injured in the crash was now in a stable
condition and had been moved to the children's ward, he said
in a statement.
He said the Singh family wanted to thank the public and the
wider Sikh community "for all their messages, prayers and
Mr Raj said it had been a "very emotional and stressful"
time, and again thanked the emergency services and Hawke's
Bay Hospital for their care.
He also said reports that the driver had fallen asleep at the
wheel were incorrect.
Initial reports from emergency services suggested the driver
had fallen asleep while driving.
However, he said because the crash was the subject of a
police investigation the family could not make any further
comment about how the crash had occurred.
All eight of the Singh family members remain in hospital, but
are now in stable conditions.
Manmeet Singh, aged 6 months, remains in a serious but stable
condition in the high dependency unit at Hawke's Bay
Hospital. His mother, Sukhwinder Kaur, is also serious but
stable in a high dependency unit.
The baby's father, Jagtar, was transferred to Burwood Spinal
Unit in Christchurch hospital for further treatment.
The couple's two daughters - Jaspreet, 9, and 8-year-old
Amureet - are now both in stable conditions in the children's
ward at Hawke's Bay Hospital.
Driver Sandeep Singh is also stable.
Two other family members - men in their 20s - were also
injured in the crash. One is stable in Hawke's Bay Hospital,
while the other, Satvir Singh, has been transferred to Hutt
Hospital for further treatment.
Jagtar and his wife had travelled to New Zealand where Mr
Singh was raised, from their home in Melbourne where they
have lived for the past 11 years, to take part in a Lohri -
to commemorate the birth of a boy.
Manmeet was to have been the golden boy at the traditional
Punjabi festival, which is staged every January 13 to
commemorate the birth of a boy or the marriage of newlyweds.
- Patrice Dougan of APNZ