Several Filipinos living in New Zealand died when the van they were riding on collided with a truck on State Highway 1 between Blenheim and Picton at 7:30 on Sunday morning, news reports said.
A total of seven people died in the horrific crash that included members of the Pinoy community in Auckland, according to the Stuff news website and the New Zealand Herald.
The victims were on their way home—from a funeral—on their way to catch a ferry when their van rammed into the truck, killing nearly all members of the family.
The reports identified some of the victims as Paul Brown, his wife Diseree, and their son Mark; Diseree’s sister, Divine Dolar, and the latter’s daughter Flordeliza. A baby is also among the fatalities.
Two other passengers of the van have been brought to the hospital, while the truck driver suffered minor injuries, according to the reports.
“Police can confirm that one of the deceased was the driver of the van at the time of the crash,” Inspector Simon Feltham, Marlborough Area Commander, said in a statement.
“It is a real shock because of the tragedy of our family,” Princess Clariman, a relative of the victims, was quoted by the New Zealand Herald report on Monday.
The same report said the circumstances of the crash are still being investigated, according to police.
One of the survivors was a year 11 student who lost his mother and younger brother, as the group of three generations—some of whom lived in Pukekohe, south of Auckland—arrived in New Zealand’s South Island on Thursday morning, Stuff reported.
The family had driven to Dunedin to attend a funeral two hours drive west in Gore on Saturday, before embarking on their journey home later that day, the report added.