Sisters' chat a tragic farewell

The first words that sprung to mind when Barbara Mark thought about her sister, Levin woman Jennifer Harding, was that she "just sparkled".

Jennifer Frances Harding, 74, died after she was hit by a reversing truck shortly before 1pm on Monday while walking on Bath St, Levin.

Levin Sergeant Jeff Lyver said the 5-tonne truck was backing into a service lane on the street behind the town's community centre, Te Takere, when it struck Harding and ran her over.

Harding died on her way to Wellington Hospital as she was being transferred in the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter.

She had been with her sister, the pair having just been out for a walk together and had a "good chat" and a laugh over a morning coffee.

They had been heading for home when "Jenny", as she was known to her friends, got caught behind the truck.

Mark said she was trying to help her sister up, as well as screaming at the truck driver to stop but the truck "just kept coming". She described her sister's injuries as "horrific".

Harding and her two sisters were born in Wellington but Harding later moved to Nelson, where she raised four boys.

She moved to Levin to be closer to family about nine years ago, and wasted no time making friends and getting involved in the community.

Mark described Harding as having a "happy disposition" and someone who would go out of her way to help other people.

Always on the go, they often had to tell her "slow down Jenny", and she worked tirelessly for the community groups she was involved in,

She was much loved and would be greatly missed by her family and friends, she said.

A member of the Levin Croquet Club for seven years, fellow members were "shattered" at the news of Harding's death, club president Lois Molloy said.

She was a "much loved" and "vivacious" woman who showed great promise at croquet and was always ready to pitch-in and help.

"She was just one of those people that people love."

Levin Senior Sergeant Sarn Paroli said the driver of the truck had been spoken to by police but it was too soon to say if any charges would be laid.

Harding was the first of two pedestrians to be killed this week, the second, an 80-year-old woman, was killed when she was hit by a car while walking on a pedestrian crossing on Great South Rd in Ngaruawahia yesterday morning.

Last week, 92-year-old Dunedin woman Marjorie Joyce Pullar died from injures received when she was hit by a van on Moray Pl in Dunedin.

Manawatu Standard