A year after her daughter died in a car crash on the Kapiti Coast, Ellen Crown is still waiting for justice.
"I had no idea the process would take so long," she said. "Until this happens to you or your family, I suppose you don't know."
Miss Crown's only daughter, Stacey Awhina Reweti, 28, a mother of four, was killed when an allegedly stolen car crashed head-on into the vehicle in which she was a passenger near Paekakariki about 9.45pm on February 13 last year.
Jordan Hyde, 22, was charged with manslaughter and unlawfully taking a vehicle after the crash. He is due to appear in court next month.
Miss Crown, 49, said her daughter's young children, aged 9, 7, 6 and 5, were struggling to cope with the loss of their mother.
"They're still crying for their mum. The oldest ones are still very confused. The best things her children will remember are the things and places they did and saw with their mum.
"They're always saying to Nana and Poppa, mum took us there and we did this and we did that. It will stay with them for the rest of their lives."
Today - the anniversary of Stacey's death - her family will gather by her grave near Patea in Taranaki.
Miss Crown said she had put on hold her plans to move to Patea to be near her daughter, until the legal process was completed.
Stacey's death had left a huge hole in her family, she said. "She was always arranging barbecues, sports days and get-togethers, which were incredible, and which will never be the same again."
When Hyde's case was last called in the Porirua District Court on January 31, Judge Jan Kelly was told Hyde was too ill to attend and it was adjourned until late March. The court was also waiting for psychiatric reports.
Police said health assessments had taken time. They were keeping in touch with Ms Reweti's family to explain the process and the reasons for the delay.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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