Hawke's Bay crash that claimed life of seasonal worker from Samoa labelled 'tragedy' by employer

The employer of the seasonal workers from Samoa involved in a deadly crash yesterday near Napier on their way to a Taupō holiday says the incident is a “tragedy”. 

One person has died and nine others have been injured following a crash in Tarawera, north of Napier, this morning. Source: Facebook / Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service

A seasonal worker from Samoa was killed following a crash yesterday morning between a van carrying the workers and a truck at Tarawera on State Highway 5. 

Eleven people, including the deceased, were in the van when it crashed with the truck, police said. 

Richard Bibby, managing director of Thornhill Contracting, said 30 seasons workers and Thornhill staff were on their way for a holiday to see the snow and hot pools. They travelled in three vans. 

He was now working with the Samoan community and the High Commission to repatriate the body back to Samoa. Bibby said the body is currently in Palmerston North being assessed by the coroner. 

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One person dead after van carrying seasonal workers from Samoa crashes with truck north of Napier

A teenager, the driver of the van, remains in the Intensive Care Unit in Hawke’s Bay Hospital after surgery yesterday, he said.

Bibby said the teenager was in a critical condition. 

The other 10 patients who were transferred to hospitals around the North Island, including Palmerston North, Rotorua and Gisborne, are all in a stable condition, he said.

Bibby said the rest of the workers returned to Hastings yesterday and held prayers with ministers last night. Some have returned to work today.