Dead woman's father had drug concerns

The father of a woman killed with her family in a single-car smash near Tokoroa says he was concerned about her abuse of drugs and alcohol prior to her death.

Family and friends gathered in the Whakamaru, south of Tokoroa, yesterday to mourn the deaths of Lisa Crowley, 23, her partner Richard Melling, 37, and three children, Jordan Melling, 11, Brody Crowley, 2, and a 3-week-old baby, who died when their car crashed into pine trees barely six kilometres from their home.

Ms Crowley's father David Crowley told 3News that she was "involved with drugs and alcohol".

Mr Melling's aunt Donna Northcott said the couple were loving parents, but had their faults.

"Richard was a lovely boy. He had his faults, he was a bit of a ratbag, but underneath he had a heart of gold," she said.

"He loved his children, Lisa was the lady of his life."

Police are still working through the crash investigation but it is thought the family crashed some time between Sunday and 1pm Tuesday on a sweeping bend flanked by pine and poplar trees.

The wreckage was discovered barely an hour after two Indian tourists were killed at Atiamuri, about 35km south of Tokoroa on State Highway 1.

They were yesterday named as father and son, Dilip Kataruka, 56, and Madhav Kataruka, 19 from Jharkhand in Eastern India. They had been in the country since December 10. The cause of the crash is still under investigation

Waikato Times