Four killed in horror crash on NZ holiday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am

Four members of a Hong Kong family died yesterday when their car was involved in a head-on collision with a four-wheel-drive vehicle during a holiday in New Zealand.

A fifth, a woman identified as Clara Ng, was seriously injured in the crash near Clevedon, south of Auckland. She was being treated in Auckland's Middlemore Hospital.

'Ms Ng is in stable condition and is able to talk,' Wang Jianzhou, the deputy Chinese consul general in Auckland, said.

The four dead were Ms Ng's husband, surnamed Ha, her parents and nine-year-old sister. The family had arrived in New Zealand just a few days ago, police said.

At least two people cut from the wreckage of the four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Pajero were injured. One was in serious condition.

Police said the Hong Kong family were travelling in a Subaru station wagon around midday when the driver, Ha, apparently lost control.

The station wagon was so badly damaged in the collision that at first police could not determine how many people were inside it.

'They were all just crunched up together,' said a man who witnessed the accident.

People living nearby rushed to the scene. One man smashed a window to get into the wrecked Subaru and turn off the engine.

He said Clara Ng was able to speak and that her young sister, who later died, was still moving.

Police inspector Keith Brady said the tourists had rented the vehicle for a driving tour.

Police said the Subaru may have crashed because Ha was driving too fast.

Li Yuanquan, Chinese consul in Auckland, said staff would offer all necessary assistance.

In Hong Kong, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said it had contacted relatives of the family and conveyed the government's condolences to them.