Road tragedy: 'Matt is lucky to be alive'

By Nikki Preston, Ruth Keber

The scene of a fatal accident near Hamilton Aiport on State Highway 3. Photo / Supplied
The scene of a fatal accident near Hamilton Aiport on State Highway 3. Photo / Supplied

The only survivor of a Hamilton crash which killed four others is home and on the road to recovery.

Matt Scheepers was driving along Ohaupo Rd when a northbound Nissan Skyline crossed the centre line at high speed and collided with his southbound Hamilton Plumbing van on Friday, 24 June.

The four occupants of the Skyline - Hannah Strickett-Craze, 24, Lance Robinson, 28, Paul De Silva, 20 and Jason McCormick Ross, 19, of Stratford - died in the crash and Scheepers, who was the sole occupant of his vehicle, was taken to Waikato Hospital with moderate injuries.

More than a month after the horror crash Mr Scheepers told the Herald he was home and on the road to recovery, but was not yet up to talking about what happened.

A Givealittle page has been set up by his colleague Brendon Hamilton to raise money to help get the plumber back on his feet.

"Matt was lucky to be alive and has a long recovery ahead of him," the page said.

He had been left with "many broken bones in his legs and feet" and the money raised through the page would go towards making his and his partner's life a little bit easier. As of last night the page had raised just over $1000.

Mr Scheepers' mother told the Bay of Plenty Times she felt blessed her son was still alive.

"It was only by the grace of God that my son got away with only the injuries he did," she said.

"He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Her son remained positive and was determined he would be walking again soon, she said. "When he sets his mind to something, he will do it."

He had no animosity towards the people in the other car.

"He's not like that. I didn't bring my kids up to be like that. He knows it was an accident. All those other people have lost their children."

She was heartbroken when she learned of the four other families who lost family members in the crash.

"I just broke down, I was devastated. That's four families who are going to have to say goodbye to their children. Regardless of what they have done, or been doing that night. It is still someone's child."

To donate visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/mattrecovery

- NZ Herald

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