The crash still remains under investigation.
However, Pato has expressed “sincere heartfelt sympathy on the tragic loss’’ and assured the immediate relatives of the victim that PNG officials were liaising with US authorities, and have been told to extend consular support to the immediate family.
He has affirmed that the next course of action will be undertaken once a full incident brief is furnished to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
According to the Daily Freeman website, a 57-year-old woman “from Papua New Guinea’’ died in a one-car crash into a rock embankment on the Taconic State Parkway.
Family friends in PNG today said Ms Sullivan was an American but had long term PNG residency.
About 9:50 pm on Thursday, Nancy Sullivan was northbound on the Taconic when the 2016 Kia Sportage she was driving left the road and struck the embankment, police said.
They said Ms Sullivan was declared dead at the scene by the Dutchess County Medical Examiner.
Three children in the vehicle, ages 5, 8 and 10, also of Papua New Guinea, were airlifted to Westchester Medical Centre, where two were listed in critical condition on Friday and one was listed as stable, police said.
A fifth person in the vehicle, Skudy Bangan, 43, of Papua New Guinea, was taken to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
PNG oriented social media have been awash with expressions of grief for the popular scientist who had been based in Madang for many years and was well known for her campaigns on human rights and environment issues in PNG.
She was one of 11 people due to appear in the National Court tomorrow in an action taken by the Government over the controversial PMIZ fish canneries project.
Photo: Nancy Sullivan, killed in a road accident in the USA last week, seen previously with Brother Michael McManus, former Head of Communication Arts Department at the Divine Word University in Madang. Photo courtesy of Patrick Matbob.