Teen on scooter killed at crash blackspot

16-year-student remembered

CHRIS HYDE
Last updated 09:00 25/01/2014
Jessie-May Kurei, Ashleigh McFadyen and Lincoln Isaiah

GRIEVING: Jessie-May Kurei, Ashleigh McFadyen and Lincoln Isaiah gather at an impromptu memorial to crash victim Harley Vivian-Fletcher.

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Friends of Harley Vivian-Fletcher have been turned off motor scooters for life after the Palmerston North teenager was killed in a collision with a 4WD.

The 16-year-old Freyberg High School student was thrown from his scooter in the crash at the intersection of Rangitikei and Featherston streets just before 10pm on Thursday night.

Bystanders performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation before firefighters and ambulance arrived at the scene.

He died in Palmerston North Hospital.

A group of close to 20 friends and family tied flowers to a signpost beside the busy intersection yesterday in shared grief for the cheeky young man.

The serious crash unit was continuing to investigate the cause of the collision but speed and alcohol were not thought to be factors.

Close friend Tim Johnson, who will be a pall-bearer at Harley's funeral, said it did not matter who was at fault.

"The one thing that has to be out there is for people to look twice and watch out for people on scooters," he said.

"I reckon if you're on a moped, no matter who is in the wrong, you are always going to come off worst."

Harley's girlfriend of two years, Morgan Boucher, said everyone was grieving for a funny and happy guy who was great at listening.

A learner licence holder, Harley was about to begin his final year at Freyberg and had spent the day hanging out with friends after confirming his courses for the year.

He had not made up his mind on what he wanted to do when he had left school, but already had a job as a police security shopper who would try to buy cigarettes.

He got the job because he looked so mature for his age, something that also extended into his personality, she said.

Harley was killed riding his scooter a short distance from the Chelwood St house of his best friend, Isaac Cornford, where he often went to hang out, play Minecraft and eat a second dinner.

"He was always careful to make sure he had got home before 10pm because of his licence," Isaac said.

"He was a really sensible and skilful driver. It will leave a massive hole for everybody."

After paying tribute at the crash site, the group of teenagers went back to Isaac's house to talk and grieve.

Renee Johnson was struggling to come to terms with the loss of a friend.

"The shock is the worst thing. It's so hard to believe that it could happen to someone we were all with just the day before."

Vincent Paulo said he had only known Harley for three months but he felt like a best friend.

Lincoln Isaiah said Harley got along with everyone.

"No one had anything bad to say about him."

Station officer for Milson Fire Station in Palmerston North Kerry Williams said members of the public were already performing CPR when emergency services got to the scene.

Firefighters assisted St John with resuscitation attempts before loading Harley into an ambulance.

Harley is not the first high school student to have been involved in a crash on the Rangitikei and Featherston St intersection.

In March 2002, a Palmerston North Boys' High School student was killed at 8.30am when his bike was hit by a truck and trailer unit travelling along Featherston St.

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In April, 2009, another Palmerston North Boys' High School was knocked off of his scooter at the same intersection while riding to school.

The 17-year-old was taken by St John to Palmerston North Hospital with scrapes and bruises.

The intersection was identified by Palmerston North area commander Inspector Pat Handcock last year as one of the worst in the city for serious crashes.

- Manawatu Standard

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