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Three generations of the same family have been killed in a tragic car crash in New Zealand.
The horrendous car accident, which occurred just outside Picton on the north coast of the South Island in the country, killed seven people who were part of one family, including a baby who was under a year old.
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, after their van drifted onto the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with a semi-trailer.
Diseree’s sons Pedro Clariman, 26, and Luie Lagud, 16, thankfully survived the crash which occurred as the family travelled from one side of the country to the other to attend a funeral, but Luie has undergone surgery and was in a coma.
Pedro is currently stable, but his wife sadly died in the accident along with their daughter Mika, who was between nine and ten months old.
The collision occurred approximately five hours after the family departed from a friend’s home, who gave his name to a local radio station as Bill.
The family’s van then crashed into the truck on State Highway 1 south.
The driver of the refrigerated goods truck whom they collided with suffered only minor injuries and has since been discharged from hospital.
The teenager, Mark, who died in the collision was in Year 10 at Pukekohe High School outside Auckland, where Luie, who is still in hospital, also attends in the year above.
The school's headteacher Richard Barnett sent an email on Monday to parents informing them of Mark’s death.
He wrote: “His older brother, in Year 11, remains in hospital. Our thoughts and condolences are with their family and close friends.”
Barnett told Stuff that staff and students at the school were 'deeply affected' by the tragic incident and that the two boys were part of a 'beautiful family'.
Meanwhile, Paul, who also lost his life in the crash, taught children with autism at Parkside Specialist School in Pukekohe.
The headteacher there, Carol Willard, explained that the school was 'deeply saddened' by his death, and said he was a 'much-respected and loved member of our school community'.
His sister 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.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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