The family of 11-year-old Hannah Francis who was tragically killed in a Mt Ruapehu bus crash have thanked police and the community for their support after their "insurmountable loss".
Hannah's family released a statement through the NZ Police today, after the youth they described as kind-hearted died tragically from injuries suffered after a bus rolled near Tūroa skifield on July 28.
Hannah had been on a skiing trip with her father, Matthew Francis, and step-brother Joshua.
The statement said the pair were still healing from the injuries they received, and dealing with the trauma of the accident.
Matthew Francis broke his scapula and multiple ribs and Joshua broke his clavicle, and has spinal fractures and concussion.
"On top of the unimaginable loss of Hannah this has been a very difficult time for our family," the statement said.
Hannah's mother Michelle, step-father Shane and sister Charlotte Bruton said the moment they found out that Hannah had died, their lives fell apart.
"As Hannah's mother my heart has literally broken, there is no feeling like this in the world to compare it to," Michelle said.
"We are taking baby steps each day to try to learn how to carry this grief with us. It will never ever go away, the loss of Hannah is very real.
"This loss as we are beginning to realise is insurmountable."
Hannah was described as being "the sunshine in every day" and a special child who had the kindest heart and soul.
"To have her taken from us in such a cruel way is becoming the reality we now have to live - to now have the rest of our lives ahead of us without Hannah there is just heart-breaking," the family statement said.
The family also thanked police and the investigation team who are looking into the crash.
"Firstly we would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last few weeks in regards to the loss of our beloved Hannah. It has been very heart-warming to know that we are in people's thoughts and prayers," the family statement said.
"We would also like to thank the police and the investigating team working to understand the cause of the accident. We understand that this investigation will take time to complete and do not wish to comment further."
Hannah's father, stepmother and two stepbrothers said Hannah was a wonderful girl who is deeply missed.
"She had a joy and presence in our home that we long to have back. We miss her at the dinner table and all the usual routines of our daily lives," they said.
"But we see her in the daffodils at our front door, in the uniforms left on bedroom floors and the warm sunshine flooding into her bedroom on a sunny day. If there is one thing we would want you to remember about Hannah, it would be that she loved life and she approached life with an exuberance that was infectious."