Woman killed outside friend's house

16:00, Mar 06 2014
Gwen Jones
ROUSED BY CRASH: Gwen Jones was woken by the sound of the crash and found her friend on the road.

A Hamilton woman has described how a gruesome crash outside her house killed a former colleague and left a young driver, who lived in the same neighbourhood as the victim, in shock.

Dinsdale woman Gwen Jones was roused from her bed by the sound of glass shattering outside her home in Whatawhata Rd about 7.10am yesterday.

"I knew there was something wrong," Jones said.

Minutes later, when she walked out her driveway, she realised the woman critically injured on the road was an old workmate - Sharon Booth Sunman.

Jones said she saw that Booth Sunman's arm was severely injured.

"I was on the phone to 111. I said, ‘Get the police, ambulance, and there's a lot of glass on the road'. "


Booth Sunman, who lived in Dinsdale, had been hit by a silver, Hamilton-bound sedan and died later yesterday morning at Waikato Hospital.

Jones said the 64-year-old's belongings - a folder, notebook and Busit! card - were scattered on the road.

The driver of the vehicle, who Jones identified as a young Dinsdale man, stood shocked nearby.

A neighbour, who declined to be named, said the driver looked rattled. "He was very shaken when he walked from the road to the grass."

A short time later he appeared to be comforted by family, the woman said.

The family of the driver and Booth Sunman were both known to Jones.

When the Waikato Times visited her yesterday she said she would often drive Booth Sunman to Waikato Hospital, where they both worked for a time.

"She was a very religious lady. She was lovely, polite, well dressed."

Booth Sunman, who had moved to Hamilton from Christchurch and lived with her daughter, usually caught the morning bus from outside her house in Whatawhata Rd, Jones said.

"The bus was about two or three cars back and that would have been the one she would have been catching."

Jones said she also knew the driver and his family - who she described as lovely. "He's only a young boy. He was just heading off to work. He said he didn't see her."

When the Times visited the family of both Booth Sunman and the driver neither were ready to speak.

Waikato prevention manager Inspector Rob Lindsay said yesterday that he would not speculate on the cause of the crash.

The incident was under investigation by the serious crash unit, and the driver of the car was interviewed by police.

Waikato Times