A close friend of Ani Nohinohi says she is facing her biggest hurdle in life and he's praying she can make it through alive.

Ani Nohinohi is the only survivor from Wednesday's devastating crash near Waverley and is still in the intensive care unit at Wellington Hospital in a critical condition.

A close friend told the Wanganui Chronicle that Nohinohi had faced plenty of adversity in her life.

"Ani has faced many, many hurdles in her life. She's faced hurdles ... all her life," he said.

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"This is the biggest one. I can only pray and hope that she gets over this huge hurdle."

Nohinohi's partner, Jeremy Thompson, and daughters, Shady Thompson and Nivek Madams, all died as a result of the crash.

In the other vehicle Ian Porteous, Rosalie Porteous, Ora Keene and Brenda Williams all died.

Brenda Williams' family will hold a service to celebrate her life and friends are invited to the Church of the Good Shepherd in Waverley on Monday.

Jeremy Thompson was from Whanganui and the Wanganui Chronicle understands the family is planning a funeral for him next week.

The Givealittle page set up to help the family with the expense of funerals has nearly reached $8000.

Colleen Smith, who was a close friend of the Waverley residents, said she knew about Brenda's service and would be attending.

She said she'd tried to find out about the funerals of Ian and Rosalie Porteous and Ora Keene but understood the families were too busy trying to decide how it would be done.

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Rosalie Porteous had survived a serious crash on the same stretch of road a year ago.

In May 2017, she was critically injured in a crash between a car, a truck and a motorcycle on State Highway 3 in Pātea.

She had to be cut free from the wreckage by firefighters, and was airlifted to Whanganui Hospital.