The grieving brother of a man and woman killed in a fiery collision between a car and a milk tanker near Taranaki says his brother was not responsible for the tragedy.
The tanker driver involved in Thursday's triple fatality in Patea has been found dead in his home, it was confirmed today.
Police have labelled it a "tragic incident" and say the man's death will be referred to the Coroner. It is not being treated as suspicious.
Chantelle Giles, John Bayne and his sister Cherylene Bayne died and two others were injured in the horrific crash.
A car is believed to have been backing out of an Egmont St driveway when it collided with the milk tanker, which was heading north on Patea's main road.
The force of the crash brought down power lines, cutting power to the street for several hours, and the road was closed until the early hours of Friday morning.
Speaking earlier today, the Baynes' grieving brother Scott said claims his brother was responsible for the crash were "not true".
"It's had been reported all weekend that John had backed out of the driveway and that's not what happened.
"The car was parked on the pavement and the tanker driver veered off the road and dragged the car down the road.
"The car went under the tanker and was hauled up the road."
Scott Bayne was visibly upset and said he was waiting for family to arrive from the King Country before he could make further comment.
After reports this afternoon of the tanker driver's death, a family spokesperson at the house said: "We've got nothing to tell you. It's gone from bad to a whole lot worse around here."
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.