A Bay of Plenty man involved in a head on collision that left his two cousins dead remains in a serious but stable condition in Tauranga Hospital.
Tom Kupa was flown to hospital on Saturday after the Toyota Hilux he was driving was involved in a crash with a Honda sedan carrying his two cousins at the intersection of State Highway 2 and Bell Road in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Two people died in a head-on collision in the Eastern Bay of Plenty at the weekend. The sole survivor remains in Tauranga Hospital. Photo: Supplied.
Katiana Kereopa, 37, and his nephew Turuki Kereopa, 17, were travelling home from their aunt’s tangi around 6.30am when the two cars crashed near Opotiki.
Both died at the scene, and damage to the vehicle was so extensive it had to be towed to Whakatane before the bodies could be removed.
Neither were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and the 17-year-old who was driving did not have a licence.
Bay of Plenty District Communications manager Diana Marriott says the 39-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in Tauranga Hospital’s intensive care unit.
Tom is a logging contractor and is believed to have been travelling to work in Rotorua while his cousins were returning from a family tangi when the crash occurred.
Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter pilot Liam Brettkelly says the Tom was trapped in his vehicle for around half an hour.
"He received multiple injuries. He was stabilised at the scene by St John Paramedics before being flown to Tauranga Hospital."
The cause of the accident is unknown at this stage and the Bay of Plenty Serious Crash Unit is investigating the incident.
Thick fog was reported by residents on Saturday morning and there were no signs of braking along the straight stretch of road.