Trip to see Mt Hutt snow ends in tragedy

Ian Dulay, 17, and Khatricia Dulay, 19, were killed in a crash near Rakaia on Saturday. Photo:...
Ian Dulay, 17, and Khatricia Dulay, 19, were killed in a crash near Rakaia on Saturday. Photo: supplied/ via NZ Herald
A family trip to see snow at Mt Hutt in Canterbury has ended in tragedy after a father crashed his car and two of his children died.

Emergency services were called to the single-vehicle crash in Rakaia Terrace Rd, Hororata, at 2.46pm yesterday. 

Two people died and three others were taken to Christchurch Hospital with a range of injuries.

The driver of the car, Ghomer Dulay, who lost his children in the crash, spoke to The New Zealand Herald on Sunday morning.

He said he was taking them to see snow for the first time at Mt Hutt.

The father has lived in New Zealand since 2015, but his three children aged 22, 19, and 17 arrived in the country in May this year from the Philippines. 

“They wanted to see the snow. It’s their first time here and I wanted to because they’re happy, I want to make them happy.”

The father was driving along Rakaia Terrace Rd when he saw what he thought may have been a rabbit, he said.

“That’s why I tried to brake and now sliding the car and zig-zag. I lost control.”

The car crashed. He blacked out and his next memory was waking up at the crash scene.

“My kids, my partner were yelling and crying. Me also.”

His car was “totally damaged” and he called 111. A passer-by arrived shortly after at the scene and helped him speak to emergency services.

Dulay then pulled out his partner and eldest child from the wreckage, but was unable to get the other two children out. 

Police then informed him on Saturday night after arriving at the hospital that two children - Khatricia Dulay, 19, and Ian Dulay, 17, had died. His oldest child was critically injured, as was his partner.

“It’s so sad when I got that news, I was crying. I have two kids gone.”

Dulay was also taken to hospital. On Sunday, he said he had a sore head and face.

He said he wanted to tell his children he was “sorry” for what happened.

“I don’t want this to happen … they’re my blood,” he said.

“Their dreams are nothing now, and also my dreams to give them a big future here. It’s gone.

“I want them to be happy, that’s why all their life I just follow them. Pa, let’s go there, I want to see the snow, Pa let’s go there, I want to visit this.”

His focus was to bring his children back to the Philippines to see their mother.

The children’s aunt, Jinena Tats-Quin Abellera, told the Herald the family were “devastated”.

She said Dulay called one of his siblings to inform them of the crash, the rest of the family was then told.

Her sister, the children’s mother, was being supported by relatives.

“She’s just worried, she’s crying. She’s having a hard time accepting what’s happened. We’re just all upset.”