Judd Hall farewelled by hundreds
Hundreds of mourners filled Runanga's streets yesterday as Judd Hall's casket was carried from his home in the small West Coast town to his funeral nearby.
Hall, 26, was killed nine days ago when the speeding car he was a rear passenger in slammed into the side of a wooden house on Greymouth's main road after a brief police chase.
He was his parents' fourth and last son to die tragically but controversy was sparked after a high-profile internet blogger lauded his death, which was not mentioned at yesterday's service.
One of his two surviving sisters, Shiloh, told the overflowing Sacred Heart Catholic Church that her brother always meant well.
''There's just no other person like you. You had the biggest heart.
''Love you so much Judd,'' she said, before bending to kiss his coffin.
A family friend told the crowd of mostly young people that Hall had touched the hearts of many in his short life.
A photo on the funeral service sheet showed Hall sitting on the memorial stone to his brother, Dan Herk, at the Pike River memorial garden at Atarau.
The Pike River coalmine explosion in November 2010 claimed Herk's life.
Hall's brother, Jessop, 7, was run over by a drunk driver in Motueka in 1990, followed by Brett, 19, in a fall a few years later.
A keen DJ and music lover, Hall had a tribute rap song Too Soon penned by Christchurch friend Camo MC, which was played as his casket was carried from the church.
Its catchy refrain expressed what many pondered: ''Don't know why you had to go so soon?''
- The Press