‘We are lucky to be alive’
A Taranaki man who was one of five people seriously injured in a serious crash north of Taranaki can’t believe he’s alive today.
Ray Hayward, his wife Berna and Monique Matthews were travelling north along State Highway 3 when they were involved in a head-on crash near the intersection of Ye Old Mill Rd, Mo¯ kau on October 5.
The three, who were travelling in the Haywards’ Raybern Entertainment van, were taken to Waikato Hospital in three separate rescue helicopters from Taranaki, Taupo¯ and Tauranga.
The Taranaki entertainers have had to cancel upcoming events because of the crash, minus one – their annual rescue helicopter charity ball.
The couple organise a ball for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust each year, and last Friday afternoon’s crash ‘‘highlighted’’ the importance of the event, Hayward said.
He, his wife and Matthews are all still in hospital with serious injuries. ‘‘I’ve got broken ribs, severe bruising of the pelvis and hips, other general bangs and bruises and a back injury.
‘‘Berna’s got a compound fracture of the wrist, she’s also got some pelvis injuries and other general injuries as well.’’
The pair should be able to go to
Taranaki Base Hospital soon but Hayward isn’t sure when. ‘‘It’ll be a long, slow process.’’
Does he feel lucky? ‘‘That’s the biggest understatement you could ever make. Honestly, we are very lucky to be alive.
‘‘If it wasn’t for seatbelts and a couple of other little things, like obviously someone is looking down on us, I wouldn’t be here.’’
A spokesperson from Matthews’ family said she was in the high dependency unit in Waikato Hospital and had had three surgeries.
‘‘She’s progressing well. She’s a fighter, she really is.
‘‘We want to send a really huge heartfelt thank you from all of us who are close to Monique. The love and positive vibes, that’s what really helping us.’’
A Givealittle page has been set up for the mother of four.
The Taranaki entertainers were on their way to an event where Berna and Matthews, known as Just Us, would be singing at the O¯ torohanga Club.
Tomorrow, the Raybern Entertainment Annual Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust Charity Ball is being held at the Quality Hotel in New Plymouth, without the aid of the Haywards or Matthews.
All the money raised goes to the trust, which Hayward called ‘‘absolutely stunning’’.
‘‘If anything has ever highlighted the need for the community to raise funds, it’s this [the crash]. I never will be able to speak highly enough of how we’ve been looked after since the moment of the accident.’’
The two other people involved in the crash, who were travelling toward Taranaki, were taken to Taranaki Base Hospital.
‘‘It’ll be a long, slow process.’’ Ray Hayward
Five people were seriously injured in a head-on crash north of Mo¯ kau last Friday. Ray and Berna Hayward’s vehicle after the crash; and the couple take a selfie in Waikato Hospital.