'I love him': Leeston crash victim's mum has no anger for unlicensed driver
The mother of a 15-year-old boy killed in a triple-fatal car crash in rural Canterbury lost her husband to cancer only months earlier.
Cole Hull, Sam Drost and Lily Moore, all aged 15, were killed when the car they were passengers in failed to take a corner and crashed into a row of trees near Southbridge overnight on Boxing Day.
An unlicensed 14-year-old male was driving. He was seriously hurt in the crash, but is out of hospital.
Sam's mother, Tracey, said there was "absolutely no anger or resentment" towards the unlicensed driver. Each of the five people in the car had "made their own decisions".
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"I love him [the driver] . . . He's got a hard road of recovery. I would like to see him do well and see his milestones and I hope he grows up to be a lovely young man which I'm sure he will.
"With our support he's going to get through this. I know he knows that we care deeply for him."
Like Moore's father, Marcus, Drost believed Sam was at home the night of the crash. She confirmed the car the group were in was hers, but would not comment on how it was taken.
It had already been a tragic year for the family, with Drost's husband, Jeremy, dying in May after a 11-month battle with cancer.
Sam, who has a half sister, two nieces and a nephew, was a "typical teenager". He loved sport, music, and the outdoors.
"He was funny, he made us laugh a lot, he was just a entertainer. All the teachers at school said they couldn't help but like him, he was just a likeable kid.
"I loved him, I keep looking at photos and movies of him, I was lucky to have him, we all loved him. It's a waste of those three lives."
"The sun comes up in the morning and you have to wake up and keep breathing."
The last two weeks had been "something you never, ever want to experience".
"It just seems very unreal to us at the moment and our hearts go out to all the families involved and we've just had awesome support from family and friends in the wider community.
"If the kids don't learn from this dreadful tragedy then those kids died for nothing."
Moore also met with the driver and said he had forgiven him.
"He was like a broken little boy that is deeply hurting.
"It was my daughter's decision to hop in that car. Those kids were obviously going out for a joyride, they weren't to know that they were going to die."
"I'm angry at Lily for making that decision but I forgive her because who has not been naughty like that growing up? I understand that, I'm hurting but I forgive him and I hope he lives his life happy and in honour of his friends as well that he's lost."