The father of Chilean man Benjamin Blake, the sole-survivor of a fatal crash that killed four of his friends last Wednesday, has arrived in Hamilton to be with his badly injured son.
Dr Eric Blake arrived at Waikato Hospital yesterday while the rest of his family stayed behind in Chile to attend a mass at a Santiago church where they prayed for his recovery.
He arrived to find that his son had been moved from the hospital's high dependency unit to a ward where he remains in a stable condition having suffered a broken left leg, two broken bones in his left forearm, two broken ribs, grazes on his body - and the loss of his four friends.
Dr Blake said he, his wife, and their four sons offered their condolences to the families of Agustin Donofrio, German Caceres, Nicolas Ursic, and Luciano Pucheta who died in the accident.
''That Benjamin survived is a miracle,'' said Dr Blake, and something both he and his son were reflecting on today.
He said he was very grateful for the people and emergency services who rescued and treated his son at the scene and to all the medical staff, doctors and nurses, at Waikato Hospital.
"They were all very professional. The care he is receiving is appropriate and I have been impressed by that."
His son was injured when the station wagon he was in collided with a truck near Tongariro National Park on Wednesday night.
Blake's friend, Javier Rios, told Chilean newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias that he had been very "excited and happy" when he came to New Zealand two months ago.
He was studying to be a commercial engineer in Chile and was a huge soccer fan.
"He is talented with the ball. He is involved in several leagues."
Rios said his friends and family all had faith that he would recover.
Blake and his four friends were all working on the ski fields in Ruapehu while in New Zealand on a working holiday.
- Waikato Times