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Huntly crash father recalls last visit

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/09/2016
The scene of the fatal crash © Fairfax The scene of the fatal crash

The father of two Australian boys killed in a crash in New Zealand saw them the day before they died and recalls they were excited about their trans-Tasman holiday.

Jasper Williams, 14, Ruben Williams, 12, and their stepfather, Stephen Phillips, the first violinist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, died when the car they were in collided with a truck on State Highway 1 near Huntly last Monday.

Mother Belinda Williams and her nine-year-old daughter, Tessa, were pulled from the wreckage alive.

Patrick Balk, the father of all three children, told the NZ Herald he saw them the day before they died and said they were excited about catching up with cousins in New Zealand at a family reunion.

They were visiting Ms Williams' family during the school holidays.

An emergency passport was organised and Mr Balk flew to Auckland after the crash.

"It was just overwhelming to see [police] take the time to pick us up from Auckland Airport and even take us to the crash site where we got out to have a look at where and what had happened," Mr Balk said.

He has visited his former wife and daughter, who were both in a stable condition, in Waikato Hospital.

"The boys will be brought back to Australia where a farewell service will be organised," he said.

A GoFundMe page set up for Ms Williams and Tessa has raised $29,000 in four days.

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