Police have revealed the three people killed in a fatal campervan crash in the South Island last month were all from Singapore.
The three people killed were Sherwin Chong Shi Yun and Xinyue Yang, both aged 21 and Jia Jun Vincent Lim, aged 24.
Police said their deaths have been referred to the coroner.
Emergency services were called to the crash on Te Moana Rd, near the small South Island town of Geraldine, around 1am on April 17.
The rental campervan hit a barrier at the intersection of Te Moana Rd at State Highway 79 before catching fire around 1am.
All three of the campervan’s occupants were killed and the Herald understands one of those people in the car called for emergency services after the crash.
Hato Hone St John Ambulance communications manager Ethan Woods confirmed they were notified of the crash by a member of the public.
“Emergency call handlers and dispatchers are highly trained professionals and are there to provide immediate support and care to patients and their whānau.
“However, they are human, and repetitive exposure to traumatic jobs can take a toll over time. While everyone has their own ways of dealing with this, we encourage our people to invest in their wellbeing and have several support systems in place that can be accessed when needed, from manager debriefs and support, our Peer Support Programme to our Member Assistance Programme (external psychologists and counsellors) and an in-house Health and Wellbeing Team.”
The campervan was owned by Tourism and Travel Ltd, based in Canterbury, and had been hired by the group.
The owner of the company earlier told the Herald the incident was distressing for staff.
He declined to comment about the people that hired the campervan but said it was not a local group.
Eleven volunteer firefighters responded on the morning of the crash. They ranged in experience - three had won a national crash rescue competition.
It’s understood all 11 met the following evening to debrief the events of the crash, and individual counselling was offered to each firefighter through Fire and Emergency NZ.
Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Graeme Mould told the Herald last week it was “one of the most severe” jobs he’d ever attended.
“The newer ones, I’m not sure they’d been to a crash of that magnitude before - but it was a traumatic event. None of us had been to anything that major in recent times,” he said.
“It’s one of the more severe ones. You don’t know a lot until you arrive at the scene.”
Mould said the job itself was well-executed by volunteer fire staff.
“It was just a sad event.”
Traffic on the stretch of highway had increased over the past six to 12 months, Mould understands - the spike bringing with it a higher risk of accidents.
“Our condolences go out to everybody involved, all the families connected.”
Timaru district councillor and long-term Geraldine resident Gavin Oliver said talk of the crash has continued to circulate around the township.
He said the incident was still on people’s minds, and locals are still shocked by the gravity and severity of the incident.
Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Vicki Walker earlier said the crash was a “terrible tragedy”.
Timaru Mayor Nigel Bowen said the stretch of State Highway 79 where the crash occurred was commonly used by campers.