Fatal Ashburton crash: Van on way to music fest in Gore

Avinash Chand died in Friday's crash. Photo: LinkedIn via NZ Herald
Avinash Chand died in Friday's crash. Photo: LinkedIn via NZ Herald
The driver of a van involved in a horror crash near Ashburton on Friday has been remembered for his smile.

Avinash Chand and three others died after a truck and van crashed near the Ashburton River flood zone about 9.30am on Friday.

The NZ Herald reported it is understood Chand was driving the van, taking passengers to the annual Golden Guitar music competition in Gore.

The other three victims - passengers in the van - were from the North Island.

Chand was a co-owner of Identity Tours Limited.

He moved to New Zealand from Fiji about 10 years ago.

The Herald has reached out to the company - which is temporarily closed - and Chand's family.

In an online post a relative said he would be "remembered for his smile".

"We will miss you Avi, you left us without any words," she wrote.

Those who knew Chand also posted tributes.

"Its been an absolute honour knowing you Aviz," said one friend.

"You have touched countless peoples lives and brought a smile to so many. Rest in peace and love. We will meet again one day."

On Friday Area Commander Inspector David Gaskin confirmed that four people had died and blamed "a moment of inattention".

He indicated that the van appeared to have gone through a controlled intersection at a time a fully laden truck was going past.

The truck driver was seriously injured.

"This is an absolute tragedy," said Gaskin.

He urged people to be careful and take their time on the roads.








Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter