Two young boys have died after a utility-terrain vehicle (UTV) they were on rolled into a deep swimming hole in New Zealand.
The families of two young boys who died in a farm accident while on a Christmas holiday in New Zealand say their deaths will leave them “forever broken”.
The cousins — six-year-old Perth boy Sonny, and four-year-old Auckland boy Eddie — were on holiday at a Fern Flat Rd address in Peria, in New Zealand’s northern tip, when the tragic incident occurred last Friday about 5.15pm.
“No words can capture the magnitude of loss we feel, the unique spark that made [the two boys] so extraordinarily special to us all,” posted a family member.
“Losing you both has shattered hearts beyond repair. Our hearts are forever broken for you and our family are unmendable,”
The vehicle crashed into a boulder, sending it into an 11m deep watering hole, the family member added.
“No safety barriers were in place,” she said.
Their bodies were recovered from the Waikainga Stream the next day, according to NZ Police.
There were six people on the UTV when it crashed, but only four people were able to make it out of the water, NZ Police said.
The driver and three others were hospitalised with injuries ranging from minor to moderate.
Emergency services, which included a helicopter, were thanked along with a specialist dive team which the family said, “managed to bring our boys back to the Whenua (land) under such extreme circumstances and conditions.”
New Zealand police have said a temporary protection practice called a rahui has been placed in the area.
“(The rahui) honours the deceased … provides spiritual protection and allows the area to regenerate its life force,” police said.
A GoFundMe page for two children who died in has raised over $55,000 in less than 24 hours.
The fundraiser aims to support both families involved in New Zealand and Australia as they navigate their loss, according to the GoFundMe page.
“The funds will help cover the repatriation of our angels, funeral expenses, and ongoing bills, allowing the families to grieve without the added stress of financial burdens.”
Sources: Nine News Australia, ABC News, NZ Police website.
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