The 14-year-old mountain biker who collided with a car near Upper Hutt last week has died.
Life support was switched off for Zelius Venter last night.
Family had been waiting for waiting for relatives overseas to arrive home before facing the gruelling task of switching off his life support.
The St Patrick's College in Silverstream pupil slammed into the side of a ute about 4.30pm on Thursday in Canons Point, about 7km from Totara Park. He suffered serious head and chest injuries and was flown to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition.
Hutt Valley area commander Inspector Mike Hill said yesterday that the boy was being kept alive by hospital staff, and was still on life support.
The driver of the ute, a 53-year-old from Upper Hutt, told police he had caught a glimpse of a mountain biker hurtling down a track moments before the impact.
"He tried to swerve to avoid him, but the cyclist struck him in the side of the vehicle," said Detective Sergeant Dean Simpson.
Hutt Valley area commander Inspector Mike Hill said the area was popular for mountain bikers, as well as off road vehicles and logging trucks. Zelius and the driver were heading in the same direction, but they met a Y intersection.
It was a "horrible, tragic" event where "moments either side" could have made a difference, he said.
No charges have been laid but police investigations are continuing.
Tributes have already began to flow online, with more than 1500 people already supporting a "R.I.P. Zelius Venter 13/07/2012" page on Facebook. Messages remembered an outgoing and athletic teenager.
Amy Louise Austin wrote: "Rest In peace buddy. You were such a down to earth and outgoing kid who was so athletic and who always had that cheeky little grin on ya face. I will always remember meeting you on the running track and seeing you win the race and fist pumping the air, so keep that winning streak going up there mate but RIP."
Earlier this year, Zelius won the under-15 800m race for St Patrick's Silverstream and came fourth in the 1500m during the McEvedy Shield athletics competition.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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