Taupo crash: Police release names of child, three adults killed in tragedy




Police have officially released the names of the four people killed in a crash north of Taupo on Tuesday.

The victims from the head-on smash, which happened about 3.30pm on State Highway One about 20km from Taupo, were: Mele Ilisapi Oliveti, 44, a Tongan national living in Palmerston North, Helena Adele Paul, 56, of Kaikohe, Leighton Phillip Ahuriri, 60, a New Zealander residing in Western Australia, and Hone Te Ahurei Hawkins-Kanuta, 5, of Kaikohe.

Six other people remain in hospital following the head-on smash.
Source: 1 NEWS

A 10-month old baby in one of the two people movers that collided was in a critical condition as of this morning in Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland.

A 42-year-old man is also in a critical condition at Waikato Hospital, while a 32-year-old woman is stable.

Three girls, aged 2, 3 and 17, as well as a 66-year-old woman, are all in a stable condition at Rotorua Hospital.

"Police's thoughts are with the whanau and loved ones of all those involved in the crash," police said in a statement.

"We would also like to extend our thanks to all those who assisted at the crash scene, as well as witnesses to the crash who have spoken to Police since the crash.

"This was a horrific event for all involved and we would encourage anyone who feels they need support at this time to contact Victim Support."

New details have emerged of the horrific crash which killed four people yesterday.
Source: 1 NEWS

The Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the head-on crash, and are asking anyone who may have witnessed it or who has further information to call Taupo Police on 07 378 6060.

However, police say that at this stage it is not believed that speed or alcohol were factors.

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