The 5-month-old baby who died after the car she was in
crashed head-on into an oncoming truck in Bay of Plenty has
been identified by police.
She was Varnah Brass, from Kaitaia.
Varnah was travelling to Gisborne with her 4-year-old sister,
mother and grandmother, who was driving, when the car
Police said the car drifted across the centre line and hit
the light truck on Thornton Bridge near Whakatane just before
2pm on Sunday.
The children's father was driving behind the vehicle and saw
the tragedy unfold, Edgecumbe acting fire chief Roddy Hendl
(EDS: crct) said.
"[The father] made efforts to get into the car - smashing
A passing doctor immediately started helping critically
injured Varnah, working on her for an hour before travelling
with the youngster to Whakatane Hospital's emergency
department, he said.
"He was obviously a great help. He worked intensively on the
poor baby and did a fantastic job," Mr Hendl said.
Varnah was transferred to Auckland's Starship Hospital but
died there on Sunday night.
Her 4-year-old sister was flown to Auckland Hospital, where a
spokesman said she was in a stable condition.
The children's 26-year-old mother, who was sitting in the
back seat with the children, was also injured and was also in
a stable condition in Auckland Hospital.
Eastern Bay of Plenty ambulance territory manager Richard
Waterson said the 58-year-old grandmother suffered leg
injuries. She was in a stable condition, a Whakatane Hospital
Sergeant Ray Wylie said the serious crash unit is