Family say goodbye to crash victim

ROB KIDD
Last updated 09:04 21/02/2013
4x4 crash/bus stop crash

SAD SCENE: The overturned 4x4 at the corner of Halsey St just along Great South Rd.

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The family of an Auckland grandmother hit by a vehicle while waiting at a bus stop will gather around her hospital bed before turning off her life-support machine today.

Otahuhu woman Sunipa Ofanoa, 66, was crushed by a Toyota Rav 4 which veered across a South Auckland road and hit her as she waited for a bus with her two grandchildren on Tuesday afternoon.

Though she was in a stable but critical condition in Middlemore Hospital last night, she had suffered a severe brain injury and family had made the agonising decision to end her suffering by turning off her life support.

Daughter-in-law Judith Hartstone said the hospital room had been packed by friends and family who were devastated by the horrendous incident. The one consolation was Ofanoa's two grandchildren, aged nine and 15, had escaped relatively unscathed.

"The little one's probably dealing with it better, she's talking about it matter-of-factly. The 15-year-old's trying to rationalise it in her head - you know, the what-if scenarios," Hartstone said.

The incident took place at 4.30pm on Tuesday when a 4x4 travelling south along Great South Rd, Manurewa lost control and smashed into the shelter on the corner of Halsey St, a police spokeswoman said.

Ofanoa took the full force of the vehicle and was rushed to hospital, while the two children, the driver of the vehicle and a passenger were also taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Hartstone described her mother-in-law as a "lovely woman", who was part of a strong Catholic community and excelled as a seamstress and designer.

Counties Manukau Police want to hear from anyone who witnessed the vehicle prior to the accident. The white, four door, 1998 Toyota RAV 4 was heading south bound, possibly from Countdown Manukau, towards Manurewa.

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- Auckland Now

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