Five-year-old's death preventable, says aunt

00:59, May 09 2012

An aunt of a five-year-old Tapawera girl killed after she hit a farm fence says the girl was riding her older brother's bike and her death was preventable.

Sarah Melissa Joanne MacDonald, of Tapawera, died on April 29.

Police said Sarah was riding a small one-speed mini motorbike when she hit the fence in a paddock on her home in the township.

She was wearing a helmet but died of injuries at the scene.

Sarah's aunt, a woman named Rebecca, called Radio Live yesterday morning and said she wanted to correct information about the tragedy.

Rebecca, who said she was Sarah's father's sister, said she spoke out without her family or brother's knowledge and they would be unhappy at her voicing her opinions.


Sarah's father and mother separated some time ago.

Rebecca said Sarah was riding a 50cc KTM motocross racing bike that was too big for her. It was not, as police had said, a bike that was appropriate for her age.

"It was absolutely too big for her. It was bought for her older brothers who race and do quite well."

Her brothers were 10 and 12, she said.

Sarah did have a small motorbike that she could capably ride.

"It was just a fact she was not to go on that bike, it was too powerful for her. She had her own wee bike.

"I don't want any more little girls to die – they shouldn't be on that bike, girls or boys that age."

Sergeant Blair Hall, of Nelson, said there was only one motorbike at the scene, a 50cc small motocross bike. The motorcycle would be a key part of the police investigation and was being looked at by a vehicle inspector.

The Nelson Mail