'My heart is broken': Tributes flow for Timaru crash victims as teenagers identified

The teenagers killed in a horror crash in Timaru on Saturday are being remembered as "beautiful boys" as the community is urged to rally around their families.

Niko Hill and Javarney Drummond were two of the five teens killed in the crash in Washdyke just before 7:30pm on Saturday, their families confirmed. The remaining three victims have been named as Joseph McCarthy, Jack Wallace and Andrew Goodger.

All the victims were aged between 15 and 16.

Police said six people were in the five-person car when it crashed and one of the victims was found in the boot. 

Local police area commander Insp Dave Gaskin said it appeared speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. The 19-year-old sole survivor is in Timaru Hospital in a stable condition.

A message from Niko's dad was posted on Facebook on Saturday night. 

"Oh, my heart is broken my one and only sending love and light to the families of this tragic event in Timaru," he said. 

"I just got the phone call… that our son Niko Hill has passed away in a car accident tonight."

On Sunday, a video was posted on TikTok in remembrance of Niko - where commenters paid tribute to the "beautiful boys" who died in the crash. 

"Rest in peace Niko, and all the boys, you will be missed," one commenter said.

"My heart aches so much for the family and friends of these poor kids," another wrote.

Javarney's dad, Steven Drummond, told Stuff his son was a "social butterfly" and it was "a huge loss for five families". 

Kaleb Ewart and Meadow Bennett, who are cousins of one of the victims, visited the crash site on Sunday to pay tribute.

"It's definitely hard to see that something like that can [happen]. It's hard to think that they're gone," Ewart told Newshub.

The crash has been described as one of the worst in recent history. Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen told Newshub it was beyond heartbreaking and all the families deserve support.

"People will want to blame and have anger but where we can look after each other - I think that should be our first response, so just have some heart and compassion for those families that are really involved in this.

'My heart is broken': Tributes flow for Timaru crash victims as teenagers identified
Photo credit: Holly Henry/Newshub.

"It's going to be really tough for a long time."

An appeal has been made for public support as an investigation into the crash continues.

"We know obviously what the end result of the crash was - our job now is to seek the reasons why and what happened, and the investigation will continue," Gaskin said on Sunday. "We urge any member of the public who saw the vehicle, which was a Nissan Bluebird… prior to the accident to come forward."