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Devastated son lost family in horrific crash woke up to carnage: ‘He saw my dad’s body on road’ 

A man lost members of three generations of his family in a horror crash that killed seven people as they traveled home from a funeral.

Seven of the nine people in the van were killed instantly when it collided head-on with a trailer in Picton, New Zealand, after driving overnight to get from one end of New Zealand to the other.

“(My brother Pedro) saw my father’s body on the road and then my brother Luie, he was awake and then he collapsed,” said family member David Lagud. “It’s just shocking.”

Pedro’s partner, daughter, mother, brother, stepfather, aunt and cousin all died in the crash, while two more brothers survived.

David said Pedro was distraught when he learned that his partner, who is reportedly Taiwanese, had passed away. “He was devastated, he cried a lot. Both his loves are gone.’

Collision victims Diseree Brown (fourth from left) and Paul Brown flank Paul Brown's mother (center in brown jacket).  Flordeliza Dolar (left), Divine Dolar also died in the crash, along with a baby, Mika Clariman (who is being held).  Mark Lagud (front, blue jacket) was also killed.  Pedro Clariman and Luie Lagud survived the crash, but Luie is in a coma and will undergo surgery

Collision victims Diseree Brown (fourth from left) and Paul Brown flank Paul Brown’s mother (center in brown jacket). Flordeliza Dolar (left), Divine Dolar also died in the crash, along with a baby, Mika Clariman (who is being held). Mark Lagud (front, blue jacket) was also killed. Pedro Clariman and Luie Lagud survived the crash, but Luie is in a coma and will undergo surgery

School teacher Paul Brown, 61, his Filipino wife Diseree Brown, 48, and their son Mark, 14, all died along with Diseree’s sister Divine Dolar, 56, and Divine’s daughter Flordeliza Dolar, 19.

A woman whose name has been withheld and her daughter Mika, believed to be about 10 months old, also died.

Two of Diseree’s sons, Pedro Clariman, 26, and Luie Lagud, 16, survived, but Luie was in a coma and had surgery for back and head injuries. Pedro is Mika’s father.

Diseree’s three other children – David, Princess and Joanna – did not travel.

David didn’t go because he got carsick and had to work at a local supermarket in Pukekohe, near Auckland.

Pedro’s partner called David on Saturday evening to remind him to feed their bird.

David also missed a call from his stepfather Paul on Saturday night, but Paul later texted him to clean the house before coming home late Sunday night.

“It’s just shocking to happen so quickly,” David Lagud told the… New Zealand Herald† “It’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye.”

The accident, in which the van was completely destroyed, happened around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The family had traveled to Dunedin, close to the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, from Auckland, close to the top of the North Island, for the funeral of Mr Brown’s aunt.

The mutilated remains of the van that collided head-on with a refrigerated trailer in New Zealand, claiming the life of a school teacher and his relatives associated with the Philippine community in the Auckland area

The mutilated remains of the van that collided head-on with a refrigerated trailer in New Zealand, claiming the life of a school teacher and his relatives associated with the Philippine community in the Auckland area

They left Dunedin on Saturday afternoon and rested for a few hours with a friend in Christchurch before leaving at 2.30am on Sunday to catch a ferry to the North Island.

David has spoken to Pedro, who has been in Wellington Hospital with Luie since the crash.

Pedro had minor injuries and was able to walk, albeit with some difficulty.

According to Pedro’s account, he was driving when the family left Christchurch, allowing Paul – in the front passenger seat – to sleep for almost four hours.

Then Paul, who appeared to be well rested, traded with Pedro to complete the journey to the ferry.

Victims of the horrific road accident that killed seven people in New Zealand on Sunday have been named, including a school teacher, his wife, their sons, his sister-in-law and a baby

Victims of the horrific road accident that killed seven people in New Zealand on Sunday have been named, including a school teacher, his wife, their sons, his sister-in-law and a baby

Pedro played with his baby Mika before going to sleep, but was woken up by a bloodbath.

“(Pedro) saw my father’s body on the road and then my brother Luie, he was awake and then he collapsed,” said David.

“The next moment the helicopter was there and took my brother to the hospital.”

The van would have crossed the center line before colliding head-on with the truck.

Diseree had posted some footage of the family’s trip to Facebook, David said.

He said they seemed “so happy.” “They had good memories before they died.

The truck driver escaped the crash without serious injury, but of the seven people who died in the van, one was a baby and one was a teenage boy

The truck driver escaped the crash without serious injury, but of the seven people who died in the van, one was a baby and one was a teenage boy

Paul Brown taught autistic children at the Parkside Specialist School in Pukekohe.

The school’s principal, Carol Willard, said the staff and students were “deeply saddened” and called him a “highly respected and beloved member of our school community.”

Paul Brown’s sister said he was a “great brother.” “We’re getting along as well as can be expected at this point, seven members of one family to go at once is just tragic.” she said.

Auckland’s Philippine community leader Romy Udanga promised his community would support the surviving relatives and had already started raising money.

He said members of the Philippine community in Wellington were on standby to help the two survivors.

The Philippine embassy is believed to be assisting New Zealand police in the investigation and some bodies have been sent to Christchurch.

Police said early indications indicate the van crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic

Police said early indications indicate the van crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic

A man who received the family just outside Christchurch as they took a break from the gigantic drive home called a New Radio talkback station on Monday, the NZ Herald reported:

The man who gave his name as Bill said he had known Paul Brown since 2015, when they met at church and was happy to open his home to give the family some respite.

He said the family arrived at his home around 10 p.m. Saturday.

They only stayed for about four hours, although he offered to stay longer and get more rest.

But Mr. Brown said they would go to Picton and sleep for a few hours while waiting for the ferry back to the North Island.

Bill said he and his friend were chatting while one of the drivers was asleep, but the rest of the family just snoozed or just rested comfortably.

The collision occurred on State Highway 1 (pictured) between Blenheim and Picton at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday

The collision occurred on State Highway 1 (pictured) between Blenheim and Picton at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday

“This was a vibrant family—my boyfriend was a high school teacher…his wife started an online business and he was really proud of her,” Bill said.

‘They had four boys and girls… One of the boys married a Taiwanese young lady and it was their baby’ [who] died.

“I was really in love with this young woman, she was so nice and it really touches me that she’s gone and the baby is gone.

“Her husband survived… he wakes up and finds himself alone now.”

Bill thought fatigue may have been a factor in the crash.

“You spend every spare moment thinking about the what-if and why,” he said.

“My boyfriend was a high school teacher, his students are now finding out he’s not coming back.”

Picton is located on the north coast of the South Island, in the Marlborough region and is a port for ferries traveling to the North Island, where the family went

Picton is located on the north coast of the South Island, in the Marlborough region and is a port for ferries traveling to the North Island, where the family went

Five hours after he left Bill’s house, the van crashed into the truck just outside Picton on State Highway 1 South.

The driver of the refrigerated truck suffered minor injuries and has since been released from hospital.

Tasman’s Acting District Commander, Inspector Paul Borrell, described Sunday’s scene as “absolute carnage.” “In the twinkling of an eye seven lives are gone,” he said.

The crash is the deadliest in New Zealand since eight people died in a crash near Taupō in April 2019 and is the worst in the South Island in more than two decades.

Inspector Simon Feltham, commander of the Marlborough area, said first responders would be helped to cope with the trauma.

“One of our employees, it was their third day working at the police academy,” he said. “It’s a terrible thing to experience.”

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