Sumner widower a 'shadow of a man'

07:42, Jul 17 2014
Shane Summerfield
INJURED: Shane Summerfield

The husband and father of a Sumner woman and girl killed in a horror Rakaia crash says he has been left a "shadow of a man" now that "half my family is gone".

Dutch driver Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, was sentenced today in the Christchurch District Court for causing the crash that killed Sumner mother Sally Rumble, 49, her daughter Ella Summerfield, 12, and Ella's friend, Abigail ''Abi'' Hone, 12.

Appelman was ordered to pay $25,000 in emotional harm reparation to Shane Summerfield, and had already paid an undisclosed sum to the Hone family. He was also disqualified from driving for 15 months. 

Sally Rumble and Ella Summerfield
CLOSE BOND: Mother and daughter Sally Rumble and Ella Summerfield, 12, died along with Abi Hone in the crash.

Appelman, driving a rented Subaru station wagon on Somerton Rd, ran a stop sign and smashed into the side of the Sumner group's Volvo, which was travelling on Thompsons Track.

The family was headed to Ohau for the long Queen's Birthday weekend.

The Volvo driver, Rumble's husband, Shane Summerfield, was badly injured. He spent two days in an induced coma in Christchurch Hospital.


abi hone
MOURNED: Abi Hone, 12, was in year 8 at Rangi Ruru Girls' School.

Appelman, who crashed a different rental car the night before and was clocked speeding near Burnham on the morning of the May 31 fatal crash, earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving causing death and one of dangerous driving causing injury.

Appelman today pleaded guilty to a further charge of careless driving over the earlier crash, on Johns Rd, about 1am.

He drove into a ditch. No-one was injured.

Reading a victim impact statement to the court, Shane Summerfield paid tribute to his "wife, partner, friend and lover".

"Half my family is gone. Killed. Never for me or my son to see or speak to again.

"To me, she was my soulmate. She was gorgeous. Mother to our children and yet so much more."

"She was the fabric of our family . . . precious and special."

"She made me feel whole. She made me a better person."

Friends came to see her for advice and to talk, he said. "A cup of tea or glass of wine was on offer."

Ella was "the apple of my eye", he said.

"Full of fun and joy, she had the ability to make people feel special. It was because of this, love radiated back towards her."

"She was a daddy's girl. We loved each other so much."

"I miss Sally and Ella. The pain is unbearable. I feel like I've lost a soul - buried deep in a black hole."

"You only have one life, and I've had to pin-point mine."

"The lives of three families have been completely shattered."

It had caused "misery and suffering" to hundreds of friends.

He wanted to continue living for his son, Sam. "Living is one thing, having a life is another.

"Could you imagine going to a home empty of the two most beautiful girls?"

It was without Ella's high-pitched laugh and his wife's "small touches" around the home.

"Will never express the devastation the defendant has caused. He must take full responsibility for his actions.

"It will live on like a recurring nightmare."

He hoped Appelman's guilt would "live on forever".

He was "a shadow of a man . . . emptied of spirit, lost. Where can I go from here? This is all due to the defendant."

Sam Summerfield said he admired his sister for many reasons. She had a loving soul and "sassy attitude".

"We always remained close," he said.

Her friends were often at the house.

He avoided being in photos as they always ended up on Instagram.

Her favourite saying was "yolo - you only live once dad", he said.

She was a natural runner, talented netball player and a good dancer.

He and his mother often ran together. "Mum was kind and forgiving," he said.

She organised the "family adventures".

On the day of the crash, "my heart was broken . . . but dad and i must carry on.

"I'm too scared to look into the future without mum and Ella . . . the two most beautiful girls."

Shane Summerfield cried during his statement. His voice often wavered. Both he and Sam wept after reading their statements. 

The Hone family was not in court and had decided not to read their statements in court. 

Judge David Saunders asked for a minute's silence as a mark of respect for the victims and their families.

The Press