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A man who lost three generations of his family in a horrific car crash has spoken out about the tragedy.
The devastating accident occurred near Picton, on the north coast of New Zealand's South Island, after a family car on its way to a funeral drifted onto the wrong side of the road.
The car then collided with a semi-trailer, killing seven family members, including a baby, at around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, 19 June.
The family members, Paul Brown, 61, his wife Diseree Brown, 48, and their son Mark, 14, all died alongside Diseree's sister Divine Dolar, 56, and Divine's daughter Flordeliza Dolar, 19.
Thankfully, Diseree’s sons Pedro Clariman, 26, and Luie Lagud, 16, managed to survive the crash.
Luie has since undergone surgery and is in a coma, while Pedro is said to be in a stable condition in hospital.
According to Pedro, he was driving as the family left Christchurch so that Paul could get some sleep.
A few hours later, they switched, with Paul taking over the driving to the ferry while Pedro played with his daughter.
His brother, David Lagud, has now spoken out about the incident and said Pedro was heartbroken after discovering that his partner and daughter had died.
He told the New Zealand Herald: "(My brother Pedro) saw my dad's body on the road and then my brother Luie, he was awake and then he collapsed. It's just shocking.
"He was devastated, he was crying a lot. Both of his loves are gone."
Adding: "'It's just shocking, to happen that fast. In a blink of an eye, it's all gone."
Paul taught children with autism at Parkside Specialist School in Pukekohe and the headteacher there, Carol Willard, explained that the school was 'deeply saddened' by his death, saying he was a 'much-respected and loved member of our school community'.
His sister also said he was a 'wonderful brother' with an important role as a special educational needs teacher.
She said: “We're coping as well as can be expected at this time, seven members from one family to go at once is just tragic.”
Diseree was mum to three other children who were not involved in the car accident and are said to be distraught by the loss of their family.
This car accident is the deadliest to occur in New Zealand since eight people were killed in a crash near Taupō in April 2019 and is the worst in the South Island in over two decades.
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