Crash family thank public

By Roger Moroney

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The Family gave special thanks to Dr Ross Freebairn (pictured) and the Hawke's Bay Hospital staff for what they have done for the family.
The Family gave special thanks to Dr Ross Freebairn (pictured) and the Hawke's Bay Hospital staff for what they have done for the family.

The Singh family involved in last Thursday's horror van crash on SH5 have issued a "thank you" for the support they had received from the public and the Sikh community.

"For all their [public] messages, prayers and support," said family spokesman Baldev Raj, the brother-in-law of critically injured Jagtar Singh.

He also paid special thanks to all the emergency services, Hawke's Bay Hospital's Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit staff and Dr Ross Freebairn for what they had done for the family "during this very emotional and stressful time".

Mr Raj again asked the media for privacy so the extended family could focus on supporting family members, whose conditions were improving, in hospital.

He also asked that some initial media reports that the driver of the van, Sandeep Singh, had fallen asleep at the wheel be corrected as that was not the case.

He said the crash was the subject of a police serious crash unit investigation and the family could not make any further comment in relation to how the crash had occurred.

"But it was not due to the driver falling asleep."

Two of the injured had been transferred out of Hawke's Bay for specialist treatment - one to Burwood Spinal Unit (Christchurch) and one to Hutt Hospital.

Six-month-old baby boy Manmeet Singh, the son of Jagtar Singh and his wife Sukhwinder Kaur, remains in a serious but stable condition in the high dependency unit.

His mother is in a serious but stable condition in the unit.

The couple's 8 and 9-year-old daughters are in a stable condition in the children's ward.

Sandeep Singh, Jagtar Singh's brother, is in a stable condition in a general ward while a 23-year-old man is in a stable condition in a general ward.

Jagtar Singh, who was raised in Hawke's Bay, and his wife and three children, were travelling from Melbourne where they live to the Bay to take part in a traditional Lohri - which is held to commemorate the birth of a boy or the marriage of newlyweds.

The van left the road near Te Haroto early Thursday morning and crashed down a steep 15m bank.

Sandeep Singh managed to make his way back up to the road, carrying the baby and battling his own injuries, to raise the alarm just after 6.45am.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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