The father who took his 6-year-old daughter on a booze-fuelled quad bike ride is having to pay the price for a "silly" mistake which had terrible consequences, his family say.
But the family of Daniel Shorrock, 28, say they plan to stick by him as he and his daughter, Ashlee Shorrock, fight to recover from serious injuries they suffered when their quad bike veered off a Hawke's Bay road late on Wednesday.
Yesterday, Mr Shorrock's uncle, Steve Petrowski, told The Dominion Post it was a "dreadful" situation.
"We all do silly things and we get away with it - he didn't get away with it. We're not judging him for what's happened.
"We just feel for him and what he's going through right now. He needs that kind of love to help get him through."
Mr Shorrock, Ashlee, her stepmother, Stephanie Lucas, 22, and two friends piled on a quad bike about 11.15pm on Wednesday at Waimarama Beach.
Police say all the adults were intoxicated and neighbours have reported seeing the group grab a box of bourbon and cola before going "hooning". The quad headed up the winding Okaihau Rd and crashed down a roadside bank.
Mr Shorrock suffered multiple breaks to his legs, while Ashlee suffered serious head injuries after she was flung from the quad bike.
She is still in an induced coma at Auckland's Starship children's hospital.
Mr Petrowski said the Waimarama School pupil had since "wiggled a leg" but doctors had not yet discussed her long-term prospects for recovery.
"It's early days. We haven't heard anything sinister, so no news in that department is good news."
Mr Petrowski said his nephew was "loaded up" with painkillers, which probably helped him deal with the "emotional blow" of what had happened to his family.
Mr Shorrock was a family man who "loved his little girl".
He was yesterday flown to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital for specialist treatment. His mother is flying home from a holiday in Australia to be by his side.
A 20-year-old man remains in a stable condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital while Ms Lucas and a 29-year-old man were discharged yesterday.
Emergency consultant Scott Boyes, who was on duty when the quad passengers were brought in, said alcohol-related injuries were clogging up the hospital's emergency department.
This year's holiday period had been "one of the worst" for people getting drunk and hurting themselves and others. "This case with the quad bike illustrates how bad our choices can be when alcohol is involved," Dr Boyes said.
"The toll alcohol injuries have on families, on our staff, and other emergency services is huge.
"When you see the devastation it has on families, that can go on to affect them for the rest of their lives, it's very sad."
Sergeant Ray Kirkby said police were still investigating the incident.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Pals and playmates (pictures)
Reacting to a sudden cancellation
New Zealand's best deck built yesterday
Appreciating Tony Allen
The meaning of blogging