Trust fund set up for crash victims' Tongan families

Trust fund set up for crash victims' Tongan families

A second memorial service took place in Katikati on Tuesday night for the five Tongan men killed in a fatal car crash on State Highway 2 last week.

The service town took place as four of the men's bodies are prepared to be sent home to Tonga.

The men had been working in a kiwifruit packhouse for Aongatete Coolstores. They were killed when their car pulled out of the property onto a notoriously dangerous part of SH 2 near Katikati in the Bay of Plenty.

Aongatete Coolstores Grower Services support person Madeleine Rudge says the open-casket memorial service was very emotional, and continued until 5am on Wednesday morning.

Trust fund set up for crash victims' Tongan families

The five men killed in the accident (supplied / Newshub.)

One of the men, Halani Fine, was a New Zealand resident who had been studying to be a counsellor. His funeral is to be held in Auckland on Thursday.

Ms Rudge says staff at the packhouse have been moving forward "day by day".

The company has provided financial assistance to the families of the men, and has set up a Trust fund for the public to contribute to.

"The Tongan men working at Aongatete had pledged to support their families left at home in Tonga and in particular educate their children, brothers and sisters," company founder Allan Dawson says.

"Aongatete has pledged to honour the pledges of these men and believes a trust that meets educational requirements of these families as the most appropriate vehicle.

"A number of companies, corporates and individuals have asked to support this trust and in fact many have already sent money to us for this purpose."

Mr Dawson says the company is very grateful for the messages of sympathy from people around New Zealand.

Anyone willing to donate to the trust can send money to the company's Westpac account: 03 1550 0017661 02, Aongatete Coolstores Ltd.

He says affairs of the trust will be under the control of appropriately appointed trustees and all donations will be acknowledged.