Tributes flow in for crash victim

REMEMBERING SHAYNA: A tribute page on Facebook dedicated to Shayna Kumitau was created today.
REMEMBERING SHAYNA: A tribute page on Facebook dedicated to Shayna Kumitau was created today.

Tributes are flowing in for a promising Waikato golfer who died in Auckland Hospital overnight.

Shayna Kumitau, 18, was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle involved in a head on crash on State Highway 23 last Thursday night.

Emergency services were called to the scene just before 10pm after the driver of an eastbound Nissan Bluebird crossed the centreline and collided head-on with the Suzuki Swift Miss Kuritau was travelling in.

The driver of the Suzuki, an 19-year-old Hamilton woman, remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital.

News of Miss Kumitau's death has shocked the Waikato golfing community including New Zealand representative golfer Sarah Bradley.

''I was recently asked to mentor Shayna which I was really looking forward to - especially since she was also studying at Waikato University and played golf - it was going to be great for us,'' she said.

Waikato Golf Association executive officer Robin Fulton said the Waikato junior golf representative had a big future ahead of her.

''There was no doubt in my mind that she would have made the senior team within the next two years,'' he told the Times this morning. "It's an absolute tragedy".

A sentiment shared by her coach of the last three years, St Andrews Golf Club pro Andrew Horan, who said his young charge had the drive and ambition to go a long way.

''From the age of about 14 she was out at the Ngaruawahia Golf Club with her brother and father practising most nights - she really knew what she wanted,'' he said.

Miss Kumitau was particularly pleased with her recent progression to a single figure golf handicap of 9.

''She shot her best round ever at Ngaruawahia in October last year when she shot a 76 playing a three handicap - she was elated,'' he said.