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Family of Taupō crash victims: 'Words can't describe the anguish we're experiencing'



A spokesperson for a family who lost seven members in a fatal crash north of Taupo has spoken for the first time.

Couple Dave Poutawa and Margaret Luke died in a crash with an SUV on Sunday.

A family spokeswoman, Sherilyn Poutawa said: "Words can't describe the anguish our whanau are."

Scouts manager Jenny Rodgers, who was the sole occupant of the SUV, also crashed the crash toll to eight.

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One of the couple's other children, and 9-year-old boy, was the survivor and is recovered from his injuries in Waikato Hospital.

Margaret Luke with her children in 2017.

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Margaret Luke with her children in 2017.

Poutawa said grieving the loss would be a long journey for the whānau.

She thanked school teachers, workers and neighbors for their thoughts and condolences.

"We would like to thank everyone for their compassionate efforts to help our whānau through this process.

"This tragedy of losing our loved ones has been devastating.

"No words can fully describe the agony, the anguish, that our whānau are experiencing."

Poutawa said her son and his family were on their way home when the crash happened.

She was waiting at home with another couple's sons at the time.

She said she was a 9-year-old grandson who was recovering well.

"He's been in surgery, midnight surgery, and it has been very successful."

He had made a speedy recovery, but there was a long journey ahead of him, she said.

She said the couple's two children were surrounded by a "very big, loving family, and close unit".

They asked whānau, friends, and family everywhere to keep praying for the family as they mourned.

Meanwhile, Scouts NZ manager Jenny Rodgers has been confirmed as one of the eight people killed in a crash between an SUV and a van on Sunday.

She was a North Island and school manager who had previously worked as a volunteer for the organization, chief executive Joshua Tabor told Stuff.

Rodgers was a longstanding member and "very well known" throughout the Scouts NZ community, Tabor said.

Rodgers, driving alone on the way back from Hamilton after attending a dinner in Waitomo for work on Saturday night.

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The Horror Crash near Taupo on Sunday.

Eight people died at the scene of two-vehicle crash on State Highway 1, near Ohakuri Rd in Atiamuri.

A 9-year-old boy, the survivor of the crash, is recovering from his injuries in Waikato Hospital.

Seven of those who were traveling in a white Honda Odyssey, while the eighth victim, and longstanding Scouts NZ member, was driving alone.

Dave Poutawa and six of his seven children.

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Dave Poutawa and six of his seven children.

Those traveling in the van were understood to be a family of eight living in Tokoroa.

Neighbor Ivan Meyers described them as "beautiful" family who had only lived in the area and few months.

Tokoroa North, Tokoroa Intermediate and Tokoroa High School confirmed several stuents had been involved in the accident.

"Our hearts and the [whanau] are hurting, "and the Tokoroa North Facebook page said.

"We send our deepest sympathy to the family and all others involved," the newsletter said.

A thorough investigation is underway, Inspector Brent Crowe told reporters from the scene on Sunday.

However, the shelf understand that the northbound white van crossed the center line around and moderate bend for unknown reasons.

Scouts manager Jenny Rodgers was among the eight victims of the crash on Sunday.

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Scouts manager Jenny Rodgers was among the eight victims of the crash on Sunday.


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