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Tragedy takes parents

Last updated 05:00 27/03/2014
Joey King and fiancee, former Hamilton woman Rahuia Hohua
DIED IN CRASH: Joey King and fiancee, former Hamilton woman Rahuia Hohua.

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A church service has been held in Manurewa for the Kiwi parents of six killed in a fiery skydiving plane crash in Australia on Saturday.

Tuesday night's memorial service honoured former Manurewa man and father of four Joey King and his fiancee Rahuia (Rahi) Hohua, originally from Hamilton.

They died with three others when their plane plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from the Caboolture Airfield, north of Brisbane.

Witnesses say the Cessna 206 owned by skydiving company Adrenalin Skydivers Bribie disintegrated in a fireball when it crashed, killing all on board.

The couple had been together for a little over two years and lived in Logan, Queensland. They had six children between them.

Just hours before the crash Mr King posted a chilling message on Facebook about his fear of skydiving.

"So I woke up this morning nervous as hell about the sky diving today," he wrote.

"I'm about to conquer my greatest fear. I love everyone lol."

At first his friends responded by jokingly asking him to leave them his speakers and one said "it was nice meeting u bro", then Hohua joined the conversation.

"lol crack up boys," she wrote.

After bantering with his friends for two hours, King made his final post.

"Thanx guyz except for Chuck lol," he wrote.

Within hours of the tragedy, the messages changed to ones of concern.

Then came confirmation that it was their plane that had gone down, prompting messages of "R.I.P".

A series of loud bangs heard before the plane crashed might provide clues to what caused the accident, investigators say.

Four crash investigators are working on the crash site. A preliminary report will be finished in 30 days and a more detailed report in 12 months.

Logan mayor Pam Parker said the community had rallied behind the Hohua and King families, as they were residents of the city.

"It is a huge tragedy and I think it's yet to really hit home," she says.

"The one thing we do particularly well in Logan when there are tragedies . . . our community spirit comes to the fore and I have no doubt that it will again in this instance."

Fairfax NZ News

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- Manukau Courier

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