Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Honeymoon crash victim unaware husband dead

Kirsten, Gerri and Jim Steinke in Waikato Hospital. Photo / supplied
Kirsten, Gerri and Jim Steinke in Waikato Hospital. Photo / supplied

An American woman who was critically injured in a car crash near Waitomo Caves has not been told her husband was killed in the accident.

Kirsten Steinke, 28, is recovering in Waikato Hospital from serious head injuries she suffered in the accident on September 20.

Today her father Jim Steinke said it was not clear if his only daughter knew her husband Kallan Stithem was killed when they collided with a truck at a notorious intersection on State Highway 3.

"She's not cognizant of everything that's occurred. She's aware she's been in an accident. She's aware she's recovering."

The couple were on their honeymoon and had been married less than a week when the crash happened.

Mr Steinke said his "vibrant, loving" daughter was improving every day and would fly home this week where a lengthy rehabilitation will continue.

Mr Steinke and his wife Gerri travelled to New Zealand with Gary and Jean Stithem, the parents of Mr Stithem, and in a statement today, Mr Steinke thanked the staff at Waikato Hospital

"The generosity, support, and kindness of the people here in Waikato and New Zealand has been exemplary."

- NZ Herald

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