'A mother lost her only son'

18:59, Jan 12 2014

Part of Waikato's horror road toll this year landed in Shirley Wilton's lap at the weekend.

On Saturday Nathan Raeina, 18, died on her front lawn in a "horrendous" crash.

A 37-year-old woman was at the wheel of a Holden Commodore that lost control about 4.30am on Parawai Rd in Thames.

Raeina was believed to be unrestrained in the back seat when the vehicle, which police had ordered off the road hours earlier, smashed through three fences, flipped and came to a rest on Ms Wilton's property.

On Sunday, Raeina's grieving mother visited the 90-year-old to apologise for the damage done.

"She came to see if I was all right," Ms Wilton said.


"I just put my arms out to her - what else would you do? A mother who has lost her only son.

"I've got three sons myself and they're all grown up but getting them there is a problem these days, unfortunately."

The mother was "very controlled" but "very, very upset".

"She just said 'I'm so sorry what happened to your place'. I said 'look dear, I'm sorry about what happened to your son.

"We can replace what I've lost - you can't replace what you've lost'."

Before the crash, about 1.30am, officers stopped the same Holden Commodore with a 31-year-old man behind the wheel.

He failed a breath alcohol test and the vehicle was found to be unroadworthy.

It was issued a non-operational order and police took the keys, so it should not have been on the road, let alone being driven at the time of the crash, Waikato District police commander Superintendent Win van der Velde said.

On Saturday afternoon a 31-year-old man from Auckland died when his motorcycle collided with Toyota Hilux at Maramarua.

The ute driver was travelling south and turning into Symes Rd from Kopuku Rd, while the motorcyclist was heading north, when they crashed.

The rider was flown to Auckland Hospital where he died.

His death took the number of people killed on Waikato roads so far in January to three. Last year, one person was killed in January.

It was also the country's seventh fatal or serious injury-related crash last week.

The nation has just celebrated its lowest road toll in 60 years for 2013, and the Waikato the toll of 44 lives in 2012 was halved.

Senior Sergeant Gael Mockford said the number and severity of crashes was "very concerning".

"Police are concerned that drivers are becoming too complacent and not identifying the risks associated with driving in rural areas. Police urge drivers to be vigilant behind the wheel."

Ms Wilton put the spate down to stupidity, indecision and foreign drivers.

Waikato Times