The Philippine Embassy in New Zealand said Tuesday evening they are in touch with local authorities after five Filipinos were killed in a car crash on Sunday morning.
In a statement, the Embassy said they also visited the survivors presently confined at the Wellington Regional Hospital to offer assistance and consolation. They are also coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the needs of the victims and their family.
“Since then, the Embassy has been constantly in touch with the NZ Police and other authorities. Embassy officials visited the survivors, presently confined at the Wellington Regional Hospital, to offer help and consolation. The Embassy is coordinating with DFA headquarters as to the needs of the victims and their family,” the embassy said.
It added that the incident shocked New Zealand, especially the Filipino community.
“The devastating news has shaken New Zealand as a nation, especially the local Filipino community. The Embassy reiterates its assurances of its readiness to assist,” it added.
They also appealed to friends and supporters of the family.
“The survivors and the family of the victims are at present in a most vulnerable predicament. The Embassy, therefore, appeals to their friends and supporters to understand their plight and to respect their privacy,” it ended.
The incident happened when the family’s van crossed the centerline of State Highway 1 between Blenheim and Picton in the South Island and collided head-on with a truck around 7:30 a.m. (local time), the New Zealand Herald reported.
The fatalities were identified as Paul Brown, 61; his wife Diseree, 48; their son Mark, 14; Diseree’s sister, Divine Dolar, 56; and the latter’s daughter. Flordeliza, 19. A nine to 10-month-old baby was also among the fatalities.
Pedro Clariman, 26, and Luie Lagud, 16, Diseree’s sons, survived, but the latter was in a coma and required surgery after suffering brain and spine injuries.
The casualties also included Clariman’s partner.
Diseree and her children moved from Quezon City in the Philippines to New Zealand seven years ago, while Divine, her partner, and Flordeliza arrived three months ago and have been staying with Diseree while their visas are being processed.
While the cause of the accident is still being investigated, initial reports show the van crossed the road’s centerline before colliding with the truck.
The collision was the most deadly road accident in New Zealand since 2019.