Family gather to grieve for driveway car victim Delia Williams
Delia Williams' close-knit family are gathering in Wellington from around the North Island to grieve for the woman who died after being hit by a car.
Williams, 55, who was well known in Wellington art circles, had five sisters and two brothers, as well as 29-year-old son Byron McLean.
"She was a solo mum and she was a pretty amazing mother for him – it's hard," Robyn McLean said, speaking on behalf of the family.
Police have begun a homicide investigation and have charged a Levin man with drink-driving and with using a car as a weapon, after Williams' death in the Wellington suburb of Northland on Tuesday night.
McLean said her former sister-in-law lived in Garden Rd about 15 years ago, and had returned to visit a former neighbour on the night she died.
Williams was an "awesome but eccentric" person, who made friends wherever she went.
"She was larger than life. The sort of person who would make friends with the postman.
"She had this beaming smile – it's a cliche, but it would light up a room."
Until the early 2000s, Williams had been a fixture in Wellington's art world, first with a gallery beneath the Peter McLeavey Gallery in Cuba St, then later with a gallery above the Matterhorn in Cuba Mall.
"She was very passionate about art and had a talent for spotting emerging artists," McLean said.
"I can't say enough about her talent in the art world."
Since leaving the gallery above Matterhorn, Williams had been working little and living in Levin.
McLean said her family was very grateful for the help from police and victim support.
"I'm pretty blown away by it. It's extraordinary."
They expected to know on Friday when her funeral would be held.
Neighbours in Levin described Williams as an assertive, colourful, eccentric character fond of playing loud music, who lived with her partner at the modest suburban home.
Tony Smith said she didn't hesitate to make herself known to neighbours. She kept a close on eye on vehicles and cars coming and going in the neighbourhood.
Her partner was a pleasant man, he said.
Williams would often play music, including "opera stuff". She and her partner would regularly go away for a few days at a time.
He had not seen anyone at the house for several days.
Other neighbours in the street said her partner was a quiet man who may have recently had health problems.
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Detective Sergeant Hayley Ryan said on Thursday that the accused, who is 58, had fled the scene on Tuesday night, but returned shortly afterwards and was arrested.
"The car was found nearby."
She appealed for anyone who had seen a silver 2005 BMW hatchback in the Northland area on Tuesday evening to contact Wellington police.
Officers were still trying to clarify whether Williams was hit on the road, or in a driveway.
"We are getting a clearer picture day by day. We will hopefully establish exactly what has happened at the address."
She would not comment on whether more charges would be laid.