Funerals held for family killed in Tokoroa crash

16:00, Dec 23 2012
EMOTIONAL: Hamish Hartley and four-year-old daughter Zarah Hartley say their last farewell.
EMOTIONAL: Hamish Hartley and four-year-old daughter Zarah Hartley say their last farewell.

The funerals for a family killed in a horrific crash near Tokoroa last week were held on the weekend.

Lisa Crowley, 23, her partner Richard Melling, 37, and three children, Jordin Melling, 11, Brody Crowley, 2, and a 3-week-old baby Dylan, were killed when their car crashed into pine trees on Whakamaru Rd, south of Tokoroa.

Their car was located on Tuesday.

Jordin Melling
Jordin Melling

Two separate funerals are understood to have been held over the weekend for the family, with the funeral of 11-year-old Jordin held in Taupo on Saturday.

Jordin was the son of Mr Melling - who is understood to have been buried in a private ceremony in Thames on Thursday - and his previous partner, Kylie Hartley.

Around 60 friends and family gathered to remember a boy known as a "mischievous scamp" who wanted to leave school, and earn some money to be able to look after his mum.


Among the mourners were Jordin's mother, her partner James Cruickshank, Jordin's grandparents, Dick and Karen Hartley, and John Melling, all of Taupo.

Miss Hartley showed a mix of emotions - wiping tears from her eyes, and smiling as her son's life was recounted.

Inside the chapel, memories of Jordin's life - his favourite toys - surrounded his white wooden coffin along with comments from friends and family.

Jordin's favourite song, Norman Greenbaum's 1969 hit Spirit in the Sky, played from the chapel's speakers as photo slides from his short lifewere displayed on a large screen.

"He was your typical boy," celebrant Peter McIntosh said. "A mischievous scamp, loved and known by many, many people."

Jordin's grandmother, Karen Hartley said Jordin was always in shorts, barefoot or jandals.

"He never wore longs and he used to tease me when I did. He just loved life to the full," she said after the service.

A tangi for Miss Crowley and the two children she had with Mr Melling - Brody and Dylan - was held at Matai Whetu Marae in Kopu, near Thames, also on the weekend.

Police believe Crowley was driving the van when it crossed the centreline and smashed into the pine trees on the opposite side of the road. Police crash analysts have yet to complete their investigation into the crash.

Taupo area commander Inspector Steve Bullock said police were still piecing together the movements of the family between late Sunday and when the wreckage was discovered around 1pm on Tuesday last week.

Waikato Times