Friends mourn 'tough bugger' of a mate
On a quiet street in Waitara a dog called Tooth is patiently waiting for his owner to come home.
But motorcyclist Kelly Reardon, 40, was killed while taking part in the annual Round the Mountain Toy Run on Saturday.
Yesterday, friends of Mr Reardon gathered along with his two sisters at his home in Waitara, where Tooth has been wandering around aimlessly for days.
Colin Lewis, of Kaponga, has known Mr Reardon since they were children and described him as a "tough bugger" who had his heart in the right place.
"Everyone knows him and is his friend, because he's just such a nice guy."
Mr Lewis expects it will be a large funeral at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Waitara on Thursday.
"Heaps of his friends and family have been around at the house cleaning up and getting it cleared to put up a marquee for everyone to come and say goodbye," he said.
"He knew people from all walks of life and was one of the best people I've ever known."
Mr Reardon leaves behind a son, Kelly Jack Reardon.
Also a victim of Saturday's crash was Gordon McKay, of Bell Block.
He had been married to Helyn McKay for 46 years. Aged 68, Mr McKay is survived by his three daughters and five grandchildren.
Mr McKay's funeral is being held on Friday.
Taranaki Daily News