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Four from New Year accident released from hospital

4 January 2008


Four of the eight New Zealand-based Chinese people in a mini van involved in a fatal head-on accident at Kihikihi south of Te Awamutu on New Year's Day have now been discharged from Waikato Hospital.

However doctors remain concerned at the condition of a 59-year-old woman who was a passenger in the van. She sustained abdominal injuries and had further surgery today (Friday) and is in a seriously ill condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. Her 35-year-old son was treated and discharged on the same day of the accident while his 31-year-old wife remains in a stable condition in ward six.

The driver of the van, a 31-year-old, remains seriously ill in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) while the 24-year-old male driver of the car is in a stable condition in HDU. His partner Robyn Tara Howell, 37, the only passenger in the car, died at the scene.

A 47-year-old remains in a stable condition while his sons - a seven-year-old praised for his bravery after the accident, and a 17-year-old, have both been discharged. Also discharged today was a 20-year-old woman who had recently married the driver of the van.

Family spokesperson Henry Yee said the family were very proud of the bravery shown by the seven-year-old but under medical advice now wanted to limit any involvement with the media.

The boy is back in Auckland being cared for by other family members. It was still a stressful time for the extended family many of whom were staying in Hamilton, he said.

Mr Yee praised Waikato Hospital's trauma team for the way they had treated family members and also thanked those who were first on the scene of the accident, shortly before 3pm on New Year's Day, St John and Emergency Department staff at the hospital.

Meanwhile it continues to be a busy time at the hospital. On Thursday 150 people were processed through the Emergency Department prompting hospital officials to post a sign at the entrance reminding people the department was for emergencies only and was not providing a GP service.

Maps showing the location of medical centres providing GP cover during the weekend have been posted at the entrance.

Three trauma cases admitted in the last three days all remain in critical condition in ICU.

Emedio Todero, 64, suffered serious head injuries when a ride-on floor polisher he was operating fell off a loading bay ledge in Hamilton yesterday morning.

A 75-year-old Otorohanga man has severe facial injuries following a quad bike accident in the King Country yesterday.

Finally a 19-year-old speedway racer has serious head injuries following an accident at Mount Maunganui's Baypark Speedway on January 1.

Andrew Edwards from Ohaupo, crashed heavily in the early laps of the sprint car feature race.

He was unconscious at the scene while attended by the track's paramedic staff, and then taken by ambulance to Tauranga Hospital then later transferred by road to Waikato Hospital.


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