Tributes to jogger killed in bus accident

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 11:44 30/06/2011
VENESSA GREEN: Hit by a bus in Willis St while out for a lunchtime run.
VENESSA GREEN: Hit by a bus in Willis St while out for a lunchtime run.

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Colleagues and students of the Wellington woman who died after being hit by a bus have paid tribute to the highly respected fitness fanatic.

Green, 40, from Newtown, was hit by a bus while jogging in Willis St early on Tuesday afternoon and suffered critical head injuries. She was taken to Wellington Hospital where she had surgery before being admitted to the intensive care unit.

She was well known at Massey University's Wellington campus, where she was on the verge of completing her thesis for a Master of Health Science (Sport and Exercise) degree.

She was also employed as an administrator in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and as a pilates instructor in the campus recreation centre.

Massey Wellington Students' Association president Alex Hema expressed sympathy on behalf of all association members to Ms Green's family and friends.

"Our hearts go out to them," Hema said.

"At a time of such sadness I urge any students impacted by this tragic accident to avail themselves of the support the university is offering.''

The university arranged transport and support for Ms Green's family and friends, who arrived from Christchurch and Australia yesterday.

Green's parents rushed to her side from Sydney before she died last night.

They had been taking a break from the earthquakes rocking their Christchurch home, but reached her bedside in Wellington Hospital while she was still alive.

Police said it appeared that Green had been out running when the accident happened outside Wholly Bagels.

Close friend Charlotte Stephens said Green had been running a regular route at lunchtime and "she just didn't see the bus coming".

Green was a caring, generous person, with many friends, and was dedicated and focused, especially about sport.

Former world mountain running champion Melissa Moon, a longstanding friend, met Ms Green when she moved to Wellington from Christchurch in the mid-90s. They joined the same running club and got to know each other well when they travelled overseas.

"I really got to know her when she was a massage therapist who came away with us to the world mountain running championships back in 1998.

"You really forge good friendships with people when you go away as a team and that cemented a long and endearing friendship with a really good soul."

Green was one of five friends she considered a "soulmate".

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"What attracted me to those five friends was their energy, optimism, and their compassion. Venessa was a very compassionate person."

Moon was nearly bowled by a bus at the same spot two months ago as she headed to the Majestic Towers to train for the world stair-racing championships.

"I had to have the bus driver whack his horn on and I just jumped back off the road in the nick of time. I tell you ... this whole new bus system, I never saw the point, and this could be a life gone because of it."

Green – called Ness by many – was a former New Zealand duathlon representative and had been a member of the Wellington Scottish Athletics Club for more than a decade.

She was the club's trip organiser and manager for this weekend's North Island cross-country championships in Taupo.

Club president Glen Wallis said she was a leading light in the women's section and the regular organiser of social functions.

"She is one of those people who are always laughing and you're happy to be around. From a personal point of view, I had some health issues last year and Venessa was one of the people who went out of her way to see what assistance she could give.

"That is the very caring and thoughtful person she is."

She also had her own business running core strength classes called Bodyinline.

- The Dominion Post

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