Day of joy turns to horror

By Carly Gibbs

A Te Puke family's joyous day has turned into a nightmare which is likely to last for weeks.

Two of four members of the Lints family and a 65-year-old man remain in hospital after a two-vehicle smash near the Te Puke Golf course on Friday.

Grenville Lints, 52, his wife Monique, 29, their children Aiden, 2, Danyon, 8 months, and a 3-year-old family friend were on their way back from Whakatane when their four-wheel-drive and a van collided head-on.

Mr Lints' mother, Bev Lints, said her son, a truck driver for a Tauranga company, had Friday off work, and the family, with the family friend, had spent it having a picnic and paddling in the ocean in Whakatane.

But their joyous day out turned into horror when the crash occurred at the intersection of SH2 and SH33 near Paengaroa.

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Two of the five people in the Lints' 4WD remain in hospital. Baby Danyon and the family friend, who suffered bruising, have been discharged and Grenville Lints, who Mrs Lints described as feeling "miserable", was discharged from Tauranga Hospital late yesterday, suffering bruising to his entire body.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

But 2-year-old Aidan is in Auckland's Starship Children's Hospital with a suspected spinal injury and broken leg. He has weights on his leg to try and straighten it, Mrs Lints said.

Aidan was talking and being supported in hospital by Monique's mother, who had flown from Wanaka.

Monique Lints underwent surgery in Tauranga Hospital yesterday to have her wrist set.

She also suffered a cracked pelvis in the crash and is unlikely to walk for six to eight weeks.

Mrs Lints said Monique was "very, very sore".

"We tried to lift [youngest son] Danyon up on to the bed but she's so tender."

Family and friends were doing all they could to help the Lints.

Neighbours had taken the family's washing off the line and been feeding their chickens.

Mrs Lints was at home in Brookfield when she received a call from a woman at the scene informing her of the crash. She rushed to the scene but was not allowed through to where the smash happened.

She described herself as feeling "frantic".

Meanwhile, the 65-year-old man in the other vehicle was flown to Tauranga Hospital in a serious condition. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit with multiple fractures.

Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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