Surviving driver to be transferred closer to home

By Sophie Rishworth of the Gisborne Herald

Photo / Michael Craig
Photo / Michael Craig

The survivor of a quadruple fatality on a highway north of Gisborne on Saturday night will be transferred from intensive care in Gisborne later today to Waikato Hospital to be closer to his Putaruru home and family.

He is in a stable condition with moderate injuries.

The 59-year-old was pulled from the Ford Explorer he was driving before fire engulfed it, leaving rescuers unable to get to his three passengers. They all died.

Whatatutu woman Serena Smith, who was driving a van, also died in the head-on crash.

The identities of the man's three passengers have still not been released by police but the New Zealand Herald has identified the driver as 59-year-old Roland Whitney and the passengers as his son, Te Anau, 14, Mr Whitney's partner Helena Moore, 42, and her son Phoenix, thought to be 20, all of Putaruru.

Senior Sergeant Maui Aben said police had still not been able to speak to the driver because of his injuries.

Meanwhile, two men urgently sought by police in relation to the crash have made contact.

The men, who were believed to be among the first people on the scene, got in touch with police yesterday afternoon.

- The Greymouth Star

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