Three killed in NZ camper van crash were Singaporeans, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Three killed in NZ camper van crash were Singaporeans

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The three people killed in a camper van crash in the South Island of New Zealand on April 17 were Singaporeans, NZ police revealed.

They were Mr Sherwin Chong Shi Yun and Ms Yang Xinyue, both 21, and Mr Vincent Lim Jia Jun, 24, news media New Zealand Herald reported on Tuesday. Their deaths have been referred to a coroner.

The crash happened along Te Moana Road near the town of Geraldine at around 1am. The rental camper van the trio were in hit a barrier at the intersection of the road at State Highway 79 and burst into flames, NZ Herald reported.

One of them called emergency services after the crash, the report said.

Eleven volunteer firefighters responded to the accident that day. Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Graeme Mould told NZ Herald that it was “one of the most severe jobs” he had ever attended to.

“It was a traumatic event. None of us had been to anything that major in recent times,” he said. He added that traffic on that stretch of highway had increased over the past year, bringing with it a higher risk of accidents.

This is not the first time Singaporeans were killed in camper van accidents in New Zealand. In May 2017, a Singaporean couple died after the camper van they were in hit another vehicle on a highway.

Mr Chin Tze Hau, 38, and his wife Ms Ong See Yee, 29, died on the spot on State Highway 1 near Bankside, about 40km south of Christchurch.

NZ Coroner Anna Tutton said in a 2021 report that Mr Chin may have been fatigued and was either driving without awareness or having micro-sleep at the time of the accident. When a person experiences micro-sleep, he dozes off for several seconds. It often occurs after sleep deprivation or when performing monotonous tasks, like driving on an empty highway.