On Sunday, former Wellingtonian Mark Smeaton celebrated the first birthday of son Henry. Twenty-four hours later, he was mourning the death of his wife Michelle.
Mrs Smeaton, 31, from Lower Hutt, was cycling home from work in Brisbane on Monday when she was struck by the stabilising leg of a passing truck.
She suffered severe head injuries and died at the scene, just a few minutes' ride from her home in the suburb of Carindale.
Her brother, David Everitt-Brown, told The Dominion Post yesterday that Mr Smeaton was in "shock and disbelief" as he struggled to comprehend raising the couple's children, Frank, 3, and Henry, 1, alone.
"He's a real mess . . . everyone's pretty numb at the moment but Mark is barely functioning. The older of the two young boys is starting to ask where mummy is."
It sounded like a freak accident, Mr Everitt-Brown said.
According to Brisbane newspaper The Courier-Mail, witnesses saw the passenger-side front stabilising leg of the truck and trailer extend as it approached Mrs Smeaton from behind, knocking her from her bike.
"I keep thinking, of all the people in the world this could happen to, why her? She was one of the good ones," Mr Everitt-Brown said.
Mrs Smeaton was born in Lower Hutt and attended Viard College, now known as Bishop Viard College, in Porirua.
She and her husband had been together seven years and were married for five of them. Mrs Smeaton worked for engineering consultancy Beca.
They had been in Brisbane for three years.
Mr Everitt-Brown described his sister as a bubbly, fun, cheerful and happy person who was always optimistic. "She was very much a glass half-full type of person."
The Smeatons were avid cyclists. "Michelle was a very careful cyclist. She always said she needed to be careful because she had a husband and two young boys at home and she had to look after herself for them."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you intentionally buy organic food?Related story: Wellingtonians driving organic food mainstream