30 May 2012

US student injured in Turangi crash wakes up

7:04 pm on 30 May 2012

An American student critically injured after a fatal crash near Turangi in the central North Island has awoken in hospital.

Eight students, most from Boston University in their early 20s, were travelling in convoy with another vehicle of students to the Tongariro Crossing when their van rolled on gravel on 12 May this year.

Meg Theriault, from Boston, has been transferred from Waikato Hospital's high-dependency unit to a ward and is in a stable condition.

Trauma nurse coordinator Jenny Dorrian said Ms Theriault on Wednesday told her she wanted her mother. The 21-year-old also said good morning to her father and told her she loved him.

Todd and Deb Theriault travelled to New Zealand soon after the crash from Boston and said their daughter continues to amaze them.

In a statement, Mrs Theriault said there is a long journey ahead, but today is significant. She thanked hospital staff and the people in the United States who are supporting them through fundraising and prayer.

The 20-year-old American driver of the vehicle has been charged with three counts of careless driving causing death and four counts of careless driving causing injury.

Daniela Rosanna Lekhno, Roch Jauberty and Austin Brashears were killed in the crash.