Baby now stable after Napier-Taupo road crash

Last updated 09:09 03/01/2014
napier-taupo crash
SNPA/Kerry Marshall
TRAPPED: The mangled wreckage of the van after it rolled of SH5 between Napier and Taupo near Te Haroto.
napier-taupo crash
SNPA/Kerry Marshall
EMERGENCY: Two rescue helicopters joined fire and police at the crash scene.

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The baby injured when a van plunged off the Taupo-Napier highway yesterday has been taken off the critical list.

A Hawke's Bay Hospital spokeswoman said baby Manmeet Singh's condition had improved and the 5-month-old was this morning in a serious but stable condition.

A man aged in his 30s, reported to be the baby's father Jagtar, remained in a critical condition. He is believed to have spinal injuries.

They were among a group of eight people travelling from Auckland to Napier.

Baby Manmeet came to New Zealand from Australia with his parents and sisters to be the golden boy at the centre of a traditional Punjabi festival. The baby's uncle Sandeep, 33, had driven from Havelock North to Auckland on Wednesday afternoon to collect his brother Jagtar and his family off a flight from Melbourne.

Jagtar, who was raised in Hawke's Bay, was bringing his family home to celebrate the Lohri, held every January 13 to celebrate the birth of a boy or the marriage of a newlywed couple.

Early yesterday morning the van left the road about 6 kilometres north of Te Haroto and plunged 10 metres down a steep bank.

The badly injured Sandeep managed to climb back up to the road with the baby and get help from passing motorists.

Hawke's Bay Hospital reported today Jagtar's wife, named by family as Sukhwinder Kaur, and their daughters, Amureet and Jaspreet, had improved and were now in a serious but stable condition.

Three men, one aged in his 20s, one in his 30s, and one in his 40s, were in a stable condition. 

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