Family of child killed in Ngaruawahia crash gather at marae

Family of child killed in Ngaruawahia crash gather at marae

The family of an 11-year-old boy killed when a people-mover hit a tree in Ngaruawahia are gathering at the local marae on Sunday night, waiting for his body to arrive.

None of the seven youths in the car were old enough to drive, and none escaped the crash unscathed.

Eleven-year-old Nikau Tamati, a passenger in the car, was critically injured in the crash. He died in hospital on Saturday.

Newshub has been told the driver was just 14.

A resident who didn't want to be identified heard the crash, and described it as "a mess".

"One of the children who was in the front had no seatbelt and nor did the others; no one was wearing a seatbelt, not as to what I heard."

Local residents said the driver came speeding around the corner, lost control and veered off the road before hitting a tree.

One neighbour says she was comforting a 12-year-old girl who had told the driver to slow down.

The seven people inside the car were from four local families.

On Sunday afternoon, friends of Nikau gathered outside Turanagawaewae marae, where his body was expected to arrive by the evening.

The other youths who were in the car remain in Waikato Hospital, with one nine-year-old in a critical condition.

Police are talking with the owner of the vehicle.