Brother's tribute calls for sensitivity

'BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, SILLY, FUNNY': Abi Hone, 12, was in year 8 at Rangi Ruru Girls' School.
'BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, SILLY, FUNNY': Abi Hone, 12, was in year 8 at Rangi Ruru Girls' School.

The elder brother of crash victim Abi Hone has paid tribute to his "beautiful, little, perfect, silly, funny sister", saying her death has left the family with the "most unspeakable sadness".

Ed Hone posted a moving message on his Facebook page saying her death, along with her best friend, Ella Summerfield, 12, and Ella's mother, Sally Rumble, 49, was "without a doubt the worst thing that has ever happened to our families".

"It is easy to think that maybe if I'd said that last word to Abi before she left in the car that morning, that car would have missed them," he said.

Rumble and the two girls are thought to have died instantly after Dutch tourist Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, allegedly ran a stop sign while driving on Somerton Rd, smashing into the Sumner family's Volvo as they travelled south-west on Thompson's Track about 4pm on Saturday.

Shane Summerfield, 48, remains in Christchurch Hospital in a serious but stable, condition. He is awake and talking.

"Words cannot do justice to the pain, irregularity, loneliness, loss and love that losing our little Abi, the lovely Ella and one of the most kind, giving and approachable mum that Sally was," Ed Hone, the eldest of Trevor and Lucy Hone's three children, wrote.

"I don't think it has quite set in yet, no one is ready to believe that we could have lost three of the most important people in our lives in one swift, sudden and final hit."

Ed Hone said the "horrible accident" was a "perfect storm" of coincidence, which "took three of our finest".

It would be easy to place blame and anger on the tourist driver, he said.

However, to do so would be "inhuman and wrong [and] completely insensitive".

"To all the people out there who feel anger for the man who hit them, do not. [Appelman] will be feeling every bit as hurt as we all are."

Words could not describe the "beautiful lives and the legacy they have left behind", Ed Hone said.

"For one thing, I am confident that we could not have provided Abi and Ella with a more perfect life, and I know for the 12 years that Abi was around she will have lived them to the very fullest. She was loved by all and all loved her."

He said the family appreciated the incredible support from the Sumner community. They were comforted at a gathering of about 100 people at Cave Rock the morning after the crash.

"To get down there and see the boys and girls I had grown up with and knew so well was the most touching gesture," Ed Hone said. "I have never been a believer in a God or a greater force, but I think our thoughts and prayers should be with Shane [Summerfield] at this time and that we make sure he pulls through for Sam . . . [as] Sam going to need his dad.

"To my beautiful, little, perfect, silly, funny sister Abi. I love you my little girl."

Hone family spokesman Darren Wright said funeral plans for Rumble and the girls were expected to be confirmed today.

Appelman has been charged with three counts of careless driving causing death and one of careless driving causing injury.

He has entered no plea and will next appear in the Christchurch District Court on July 10.

The Press