14 Jul 2012

Father of sole crash survivor heads to New Zealand

8:55 am on 14 July 2012

The father of the sole survivor of a crash in the central North Island is flying to New Zealand to be with his seriously injured son.

Four Argentinian men aged between 19 and 35 died when their car collided with a truck on State Highway 4, between National Park and Ohakune, about 10.15pm on Wednesday.

A fifth person in the car, Benjamin Blake from Chile, is in a serious but stable condition in Waikato Hospital.

Chilean Ambassador Isauro Torres says Mr Blake's father, a surgeon, is travelling from Santiago and will arrive in the country on Saturday.

He says Mr Blake's girlfriend and friends are with him and he seems to be doing well.

Mr Torres said he spoke briefly with the Benjamin Blake's partner and other Chileans at the hospital on Friday.

"I understand he's within a family environment already."

The Argentinian Embassy is offering support to the families and friends of the four men that were killed.

Deputy head of missions Romino Bocache travelled to National Park on Friday to visit the scene of the crash.

Police have said the car the men were in appeared to have been overtaking a truck close to a bend, before colliding head-on with another truck.

In May, three US students died when their people-mover van rolled on State Highway 46, some 50km from the site of Wednesday's crash.

Manawatu-Whanganui regional council road safety co-ordinator says the two multiple fatalities in two months on roads near Mt Ruapehu show drivers must be aware of the risks of driving in the area.

Glenda Leitao says people need to drive to the winter conditions in the mountain and forest area where many trucks are travelling in the evening.