Granddaughter's graduation was to be highlight for crash victim

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 06:31 28/03/2014
Gloria Good
DEVOTED GRANDMA: Gloria Good.

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A devoted grandma was excited about attending her granddaughter's graduation, and had just bought new shoes to wear to it, when she was killed in a head-on crash.

Gloria Good, 84, of Waikawa Beach, is thought to have crossed the centre line before the accident on State Highway 1 near Manakau on Tuesday.

She crashed into a Mitsubishi four-wheel-drive, whose 80-year-old driver was injured.

The new shoes were found in her crashed Toyota.

Grandson Sam Duff, 22, who had visited Mrs Good on Sunday, said she was very excited about her granddaughter's graduation at Waikato University in a fortnight.

"She said she wanted to get a nice outfit to wear. When they found the car, she had just bought a new pair of shoes in Otaki," he said.

"She lived for her family, absolutely loved her family, was incredibly generous to [them] and always had a soft spot for the underdog."

The family were very relieved that the driver of the other vehicle had survived.

The first the family knew of her death was when Mr Duff's sister saw a photo of the accident online, and noticed the car and age of the victim.

"She had a bad feeling about it, was worried and texted my mother," Mr Duff said. "My mum spent about two hours frantically trying to get hold of her, eventually getting through to her neighbour, who sadly was the one to tell her."

Mrs Good had never had an accident in 50 years of driving, he said. "But I have crashed my car into the front of her house."

A pathology report was under way, and the family suspected a health problem could have caused her to crash.

"She was a good driver and knew that road incredibly well. Bringing up five daughters, she was a pretty strong woman, had a good sense of humour, did not really suffer fools," he said.

Mrs Good had had a rough couple of years, after the death of her husband of just under 60 years. "She was still coming to terms with being alone after all those years, and her grandson passed away last year."

Her funeral will be next week.

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- The Dominion Post

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