A fourth person has died following a crash on State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura that killed three Malaysian tourists last Friday.

Family members of the victims arrived in Christchurch today and were presented with the difficult situation of whether to turn off life support for one of the victims who was critically injured.

The Malaysian family of five had been on holiday when a truck collided with their car on State Highway 1 around 3.15pm on Friday, killing the mother, a family medicine specialist, her husband and their middle daughter.

Their youngest daughter, believed to be around 12, was taken to Wellington Hospital and the eldest, 15, is in Christchurch Hospital where she was put on life support.


The Herald understands the fourth person who died was the teenager in Christchurch. Police said the fifth person remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

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Sam Yau, President of Canterbury Malaysian Association, who visited the 15-year-old on Saturday said five members of the family have arrived from Malaysia today "with difficult decisions to make".

They met with doctors today to decide on whether to turn off life support and also met with other authorities to discuss burial plans.

The family, from Sabah in East Malaysia, had been in New Zealand since December 2 and was believed to be driving towards Christchurch to visit the mosque where 51 people were shot dead in March when the accident happened.

The accident led to the closure of both sides of the main South Island highway.

Two Kaikoura fire crews used cutting equipment to free the surviving passengers and remove the bodies from the car.

Three of them died at the scene, while the two girls were flown via rescue helicopter to Wellington and Christchurch Hospitals.


Yau said he did not know the condition of the critically-injured girl in Wellington Hospital, but said arrangements were being made for the family to travel to Wellington after Christchurch.

"The family members have made a request to have them buried here in Christchurch," Yau said.

Muslim burials must usually take place within 24 hours of the death, which was 3pm on Saturday, but Yau said that was not possible in cases such as these.

"The family members are being assisted by the Malaysian High Commission, and are staying in friends while in Christchurch," Yau said.

"This is a truly tragic incident, and we will do whatever we can to support them."

Another Christchurch Malaysian community leader, who did not want to be named, went to Christchurch Hospital but said she was prevented from visiting the girl in the critical care unit.

After a two-hour wait, a doctor asked if she was a family member and if she could make any decisions on organ donation on behalf of the teenager.

"I am keeping the family and all their loved ones in my prayers," she said.

The eldest brother of one of the crash victims, who is among the group from Malaysia that arrived today, told Malaysian newspaper Berita Harian that they wanted the victims to be buried in Christchurch.

"We will request that they be buried there as my youngest sibling told me that they were supposed to visit a mosque at Christchurch which was targeted by terrorists in March," he said.

"That is why we agreed for them to be buried there as they did not manage to see the place."

The brother said such an "arrangement" was in place in the event of such an outcome, The New Straits Times reported.

Police are still to release the names of the victims and their relationships.

Kiwi Concrete director Jonny Francis confirmed the truck involved in the crash was a road metal truck from its Kaikoura branch.

The accident was part of a horror 24 hours on New Zealand roads that claimed the lives of six people.