Trauma teams support for 'devastated pupils'
Christchurch schools have brought in specialist trauma teams to help their "devastated" pupils cope with the deaths of two 12-year-olds in a car crash.
Sumner girls Ella Summerfield, 12, and her best friend Abi Hone, 12, were killed in the crash on Saturday near Rakaia.
The crash killed Ella's mother, Sally Rumble, 49, and badly hurt her father, Shane Summerfield, 48, who has been told of their deaths after coming out of a coma.
Dutch tourist Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday over the collision.
Police allege Appelman, who had "recently arrived in Christchurch", failed to stop at the intersection of Somerton Rd and Thompson's Track about 4pm.
His rented Subaru stationwagon hit a Volvo carrying the Sumner couple and the two children, who were headed to Ohau.
Appelman faced three charges of careless driving causing death and one of careless driving causing injury.
He was represented by Christchurch lawyer Phil Shamy before a registrar and was remanded on bail, without plea, until July 10.
He kept this head down as he walked silently from court, his arm in a sling, flanked by his lawyer and a male supporter. He surrendered his passport.
A Christchurch Hospital spokeswoman said last night that Shane Summerfield was "serious, but stable in ICU [intensive care unit]". He was expected to recover.
Yesterday, a Ministry of Education trauma team went to Sumner School, which Abi and Ella had attended, to offer teachers advice on how to support grieving children.
Acting principal Paul Wilkinson said a tree on the school grounds had been designated for pupils and parents to place messages and flowers to remember the girls.
"It's devastating to the community."
St Margaret's College had crisis and pastoral care teams working over the weekend to offer support to Ella Summerfield's family, close friends and Sumner families.
A tribute book and memorial space had been set aside in the St Margaret's Chapel for reflection or prayer.
Rangi Ruru posted on its Facebook page: "It is with great sadness that we remember Abi Hone today. A young girl full of potential taken from us in such tragic circumstances. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with Abi's family and with the Summerfield family."
An RIP page for the girls was set up on Facebook.
One friend posted: "I will miss yu Abi and Ella."
Said another: "R.I.P Abi, Ella and Sally gorgeous girls fly high."
Hone family spokesman Darren Wright said Trevor and Lucy Hone did not bear Appelman ill-will over their daughter's death. "At the end of the day, this could have happened to anybody. He will have to spend the rest of his life living with this on his conscience."
Sally Rumble co-owned the Lyttelton-based Carousel Flora Design.
She regularly blogged on the website about food, flowers and nutrition. A passionate cook, she had just set up a sub-blog called Carousel Cooks Realfood.
Raised in London, Rumble met Shane Summerfield while he was doing his OE.
They moved back to New Zealand together, married and had two children, Sam and Ella.
Sally Rumble's close friend and business partner, Rachel Thornton, said Sam had been constantly by his father's side since the crash.
Sam, 16, stayed home for the weekend to study for exams.
"Everyone is just there waiting to do everything possible they can to ease him [Shane] through this horror," Thornton said.
She said her friend juggled work, family, friends, fitness and community commitments.
"Even though her life was so busy, she would often say it was the simple things that gave her the most pleasure.
"Sally was such a huge inspiration to me. She's a very driven person. She made things happen.
"She was fit, strong, healthy, animated, bubbly and fun loving."
Family trips, like the one on Saturday, were regular.
Sally and Ella would "never be forgotten", she said.
Sally's parents were travelling to New Zealand from London.
Funeral plans were still being determined, as were those for Abi Hone, who had relatives in the United Kingdom.
- The Press