The fathers of two US Eagles rugby players were among the occupants of a van who had a lucky escape yesterday when their New Plymouth-bound vehicle veered into the path of oncoming traffic.

The pair were among a group of United States and Irish visitors, here for the Rugby World Cup, who were in the van which witnesses said crossed the centre line a few kilometres north of Wanganui on State Highway 3.

A Waitotara woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was in the car travelling behind the van about 3pm.

"When the van careered across into the right-hand lane, we flashed our lights and tooted our horn. And traffic coming the other way did the same thing. Luckily the van got back on to the left-hand side of the road. We kept flashing our lights and finally the van pulled over,'' she said.

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"The woman, who had been driving, was obviously tired so we told her someone else should be doing the driving. She was pretty upset and so were the others. They all got a fright.''

The van was heading to New Plymouth for last night's match between the US Eagles and Russia.