Motorsport: Teenager Brooklyn Horan named driver in double rally fatality in Northland

Teenager motorsport phenom Brooklyn Horan has been identified as the driver in a double-fatality crash during the Arcadia Road Rallysprint event at Paparoa on Sunday.

Horan, 15, and co-driver Tyson Jemmett, 35, were killed in a single-car incident shortly before 2pm. Social media tributes have confirmed Horan was behind the wheel, when the accident occurred.

"It is with heavy heart that today we hard the absolutely devastating news that Brooklyn passed away doing the very thing we grew to love together as families," Hodgson Motorsport posted on Facebook.

Rising motorsport star Brooklyn Horan.
Rising motorsport star Brooklyn Horan. Photo credit: Facebook

"It's times like these that you remember that the sport we chose comes with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

"Brooklyn, you were an amazing, kind, loving kid and that hadn't changed years later, when we crossed paths again back at off-roading last year. The cheeky smile was still the same, you had just grown a weeee bit taller.

"You will be missed by so many."

Offroad Racing described Horan as "super-fast in any machine on any surface".

Jemmett worked in the commercial team at media outlet Stuff.

"No words can convey the tragedy of losing someone like Tyson in a situation like this, at such an early age, and to express the love we all feel for his family at this time," chief executive Laura Maxwell told staff.

Emergency services arrived at the scene to find the car submerged in a river, with both occupants already dead.

Motorsport NZ chief executive Elton Goonan told AM the incident was a "tragedy".

"They weren't novices that's for sure, which is always a concern for the sport. We think it's one of those unfortunate incidents that has just happened." 

Despite his youth, Horan - son of well-known motorsport racer Raana Horan - had already achieved considerable success, racing in his distinctive gold No.89 livery, and was allowed to compete at such a young age on closed roads.

Kiwi motorsport icons like Liam Lawson, Scott Dixon and Haydon Paddon have all competed before they were able to hold a civil driver's licence at 16.