Police can now confirm the names of the two people killed following the bus crash between Wairoa and Gisborne on the night of Christmas Eve.
Those killed were 11-year-old boy Sione Taumololo and 33-year-old woman Talita Fifita both of Tonga.
There were 53 people on board the bus when it crashed. In addition to the two who tragically died 10 people remain in hospital.
“This crash is a tragedy for all those involved and we are offering all the support we can to the passengers as they grieve and mourn the loss of their friends and loved ones,” said Inspector Sam Aberahama, Tairawhiti Area Commander.
The Serious Crash Unit is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash and while this is ongoing Police are unable to speculate on the cause of the crash at this time.
Police are speaking with a number of those who were on the bus including the driver. Interviews with those on the bus are expected to take two days.
The investigation will include a full mechanical inspection of the bus once it is recovered along with an assessment of road conditions and any other possible contributing factors to the crash.
SH2 between Wairoa and Gisborne where the crash occurred is open today but down to one lane while the Serious Crash Unit continue their investigation. The road is likely to remain down to one lane until 3pm.
Police ask people travelling to Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne to please drive with patience and understand if you are traveling tomorrow on SH2 between Wairoa and Gisborne then your journey will take longer.
Issued by Police Media Centre