6 Jan 2014

Crash family says driver not asleep at wheel

2:45 pm on 6 January 2014

A family spokesperson for eight people seriously injured in a van crash on the Napier-Taupo road says reports the driver fell asleep at the wheel are not correct.

Eight family members, including five from Australia, were travelling from Auckland to Hawke's Bay on 2 January when their van went off the road near Te Haroto and 20 metres down a gully.

Spokesperson Baldev Raj said on Monday the crash is subject to a police investigation and the family cannot comment on how it occurred, but it was not due to the driver falling asleep.

Mr Raj said those involved in the crash are all improving, with the condition of a nine-year-old girl upgraded to stable.

He said the family wants to thank emergency services, the public and the Sikh community for their messages, prayers and support.

An investigation into the crash is continuing, but police have so far been unable to speak to the family members due to their injuries.