Goodwin 'good at everything she wanted to do'

CHRIS HYDE
Last updated 15:49 07/04/2014
Crash scene bike death
GRANT MATTHEW/FAIRFAX NZ

SCENE: Police mark out the scene of the fatal crash in Summerhill.

Jocelyn Lee Goodwin
SUE WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ
NAMED: Jocelyn Lee Goodwin, 51, died at the scene. This picture, was taken in August 2012 at a Bike Manawatu Dinner.

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The widower of a cyclist killed in a crash with a milk tanker in Palmerston North has remembered her as a friendly, outgoing woman with incredible mental and physical strength.

Masters cyclist and Hokowhitu School deputy principal Jocelyn Lee Goodwin died at the scene of a crash in Summerhill Drive yesterday.

Goodwin, 51, and the truck-and-trailer unit were both travelling up the hill just after 7am when the crash happened.

The road was closed for several hours. A crane had to be used to lift the vehicle off the wreckage.

The truck driver was shaken, but not injured.

It was second deadly crash involving a cyclist and a truck in New Zealand in four days. In Christchurch today, over 800 friends of killed cyclist Sharla Phyllis Haerewa celebrated a loving and caring ''treasure'', who was becoming an exceptional nurse. Haerewa, 22, was killed Wednesday while biking to work at 6.40am while wearing reflective cover and flashing lights. The death has prompted pleas to make city streets safer

Goodwin's husband of 27 years, Garry Wadsworth, said Goodwin loved the freedom cycling gave her, as well as the social nature of it. She was also very good at it.

Time trials were where she excelled - Goodwin won numerous local masters events and was always near the front at national Masters Games.

"They were what suited her most and she loved them," Wadsworth said. "They were a combination of both her physical and mental strength."

Cycling was not the only sport she enjoyed.

As a young woman, Goodwin represented New Zealand in whitewater kayaking and was also a strong swimmer, Wadsworth said.

"She was always good at everything she wanted to do. She was a perfectionist.

"I just hope she didn't have to suffer."

Wadsworth met Goodwin at Teacher's College in Palmerston North in the early 1980s and the pair married in 1987.

They lived together in Dannevirke and New Plymouth before shifting back to Palmerston North at Christmas 1994. They had two children together - Conor, 22, and Renee, 20.

In education circles Goodwin was well respected, particularly in children's literacy which Wadsworth said was the area of teaching she loved most.

"She was very friendly, quite outgoing with people, loved to talk with people and she loved to cook. And she could cook anything."

Wadsworth said he did not want to Goodwin's death to be "another chapter in the war between motorists and cyclists".

"I feel really terrible for the truck driver, the poor bastard."

'THROUGH ADVERSITY YOU SEE HOW STRONG YOUR SCHOOL IS'

"She will be sadly missed by all staff and children at the school," Hokowhitu School board of trustees chairman Brett Calkin said this morning.

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"When we were told yesterday our first thoughts went out to her family and how our teachers and children are going to feel about what happened."

He said advice had been sought from a Ministry of Education crisis team and protocols had been set up to help staff and children cope with the news.

"She wasn't just a deputy principal but also looked after a new entrants class for us," Calkin said. 

"All of those children in her new entrants class are obviously 5, a very close relationship.

"It's going to be particularly tough for those children, but while she's been at Hokowhitu School she's touched the lives of all of our children, including my own. She is a massive loss to our school."

All children came to school this morning and Calkin said he was proud of the way everyone was coping.

"The staff are feeling a significant amount of grief themselves and personally I am really proud of the way they are thinking about the children in class before their own feelings.

"It's through adversity that you see how strong your school community is and we have seen it today."

The school had last night phoned all parents with children at the school to allow them to prepare their children. A formal note would be sent out tonight.

"They will know what has happened but it's hard to know if they will fully process it.

"We've had a really fortunate situation in that we have a relief teacher who comes in and looks after the class when Jocelyn is on deputy principal duties and that teacher has agreed to come in full-time for the next two weeks."

Ministry of Education advice was to keep things at the school as normal as possible and that was the focus over the next week, he said.

"We will do something to honour her in our own special way, but it is too early to talk about a memorial."

'INNOCUOUS PIECE OF ROAD'

Bike Manawatu president Paul van Velthooven said Goodwin was a regular at Bike Manawatu events.

Formerly with the Marist club before the amalgamation of Bike Manawatu, Goodwin won a club masters title on the road and had won other masters medals.

She usually rode with other recreational riders every Sunday but appeared to have gone on her own yesterday, van Velthooven said.

"She was just very passionate about the sport. Everyone is shocked and dismayed that this has happened on what seems like such and innocuous piece of road."

Acting Detective Sergeant Shelley Ross, of the Manawatu CIB, said police were still piecing together what factors had led to the crash and it was too early to comment on any potential charges.

"The serious crash unit is investigating and officers are continuing to make inquiries and speak to witnesses."

City councillor and cyclist Duncan McCann said the tragedy came only months after the council lowered the speed limit in Summerhill Drive by 10kmh.

"We can't speculate on the cause but our sympathies are with the family at this time."

- Manawatu Standard

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