BU student home from New Zealand
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (WHDH) -- A Boston University student injured in a crash in New Zealand that killed three of her classmates arrived in Boston Thursday morning.
After a month in a New Zealand hospital, Meg Theriault, 21, of Salisbury, returned to the United States. Her parents, who had been at her bedside since the May 12 crash, were forced to take a separate flight home. The family is now together at Massachusetts General Hospital where Theriault will continue her recovery. Theriault was in a medically induced coma and required brain surgery.
Theriault's aunt says the family is touched by the outpouring of love and support from the community, "We just ask that people keep prayers and good thoughts going because it definitely has helped. I believe in that."
Theriault's younger brother, who wasn't able to go to New Zealand, is anxious to be reunited with his big sister.
Theriault's father is overcome with emotion and says his family appreciates the efforts of many people in New Zealand.
"We will be back,” he said. “We will be back to show our appreciation again. Meg has a lot of people she needs to thank.”
The same day Theriault left New Zealand, her classmate, Stephen Houseman, 20, pleaded guilty to seven counts of careless driving causing injury or death in a New Zealand courtroom. Houseman faced jail time, but a judge ruled to suspend his license for six months.
"He did take all steps possible to ensure that the people in his car had seat belts on that day," said Marie Dyhrberg, defense attorney.
The judge stated that Houseman’s carelessness was slight, but the outcome was massive.
Theriault’s mother, Deb, is confident that she will return to her studies at Boston University and eventually back to New Zealand to thank them in person and complete the Tongeraro Crossing.
"She's a determined girl and we're going to -- as a family -- we're going to be here to support her," said Theriault's mother.
"She is very strong," said Jane Felton, Meg's aunt. "She's very strong willed. She's fighting. Every day, it's a day to day thing. It's just something we have to wait and see, give her the time to heal and we'll go from there."
Theriault's family says she still has a long way to go before she makes a full recovery.