Teen Eden Nathan was trying to turn her life around when she died in a police chase
A teenage girl who died while fleeing police in a stolen car told friends she wanted to turn her life around – just before the crash that claimed her life.
Eden Nathan, 16, was killed when the stolen vehicle driven by a 15-year-old girl crashed into an oncoming car and spun off the road, into a fence.
Both girls have links to the South Auckland PBG gang, standing for "pretty but gangster."
In a conversation with a close friend, Nathan told how she was racked with remorse about her offending.
"I said I would change but f** I wasn't in the right head space at the time," she said, in messages shared by a grieving friend.
"I honestly do wanna change, I just don't realise how much people I'm hurting when I do crime, I'm honestly grateful for everything you do for us, for ME, Mad love & respect."
She was sorry for being a disappointment, she added. She "loved and missed" her friend.
The friend said: "This was on Saturday night my love when we talked. Broke my heart reading them."
Nathan was laid to rest on Thursday surrounded by family and friends.
Eden's mother Elizabeth Harrison said she preferred to grieve in private, saying only that "no one knew Eden like I did".
A fellow PBG member and one of Nathan's close friends said PBG was a 'sisterhood' rather than a gang.
"When something happens to one of us we all go down! None of our girls go down on their own. We ride together we fight together we stay together," she said.
The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said stealing cars was about "causing trouble for fun".
"We are not the only thugs or criminals that do it so I don't see why it's pointed at us," she said.
The girl described her friend Eden Nathan as loyal, honest and someone who always spoke her mind.
"Yeah she's going to be missed by all who loved her, her family, her sisterhood gang PBG, her friends. Everyone will miss her."
Eden was a part of everyone's life and loved her friends and family no matter what, she said.
"As a friend she was kind hearted but as a sister she was there for those who was there for her."
Counties Manakau crime prevention manager Inspector Dave Glossop said the "PBG" had been known to police for a few years.
They were initially created as a subsidiary of their boyfriends' gang, he said.
"It was primarily around car crimes when the police first heard of them, and then just a splattering of everything you know – from nuisance crime... burglaries, car crime, stand-over tactics, those sorts of things, everything."
They were only gaining attention because they were girls, he said. They were not an organised gang and would not have been known if it wasn't for the tragedy.
Glossop went on to describe how the 'PBG' girls had disappeared and reemerged over the years.
"I don't think they were in that stolen car driving like that because of PBG, they were in the stolen car driving like that because of the choices they made to be criminals," he said.
"It's a tragedy that a young life has been taken so soon, but to a police officer dealing with that age driving a stolen car, it's completely normal. And that's a sad state of affairs.
"I'm hoping that this is a wake-up-call. I'm hoping that we don't have to have another tragedy before it has an affect on them."
Eden Nathan died at the scene but the 15-year-old female driver was taken to Middlemore hospital in a critical condition.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority is investigating.
- Sunday Star Times