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'Heartbroken': Family friend's tribute to teen crash victim

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Apr 2022, 4:48pm

'Heartbroken': Family friend's tribute to teen crash victim

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Apr 2022, 4:48pm

A family friend of one of four teenagers killed in an Invercargill crash on Friday says she is heartbroken by the tragedy. 

Police have named the four boys who died as Konnor Steele, 16, Indaka Rouse, 16, Kyah Kennedy, 16, all from Bluff, and O Maruhuatau Otuwhare Tawhai, 17, from Invercargill. 

Police are still working to piece together how the Ford ute they were travelling in collided head-on with a concrete truck on an inner-city street in Invercargill just before 4pm on Friday. 

Indaka Rouse was one of the four teenagers killed in a crash in Invercargill on Friday. Photo / Givealittle. 

A friend of Rouse's family has set up a Givealittle page to raise money to support his mother. 

"As his mum and his family grieve for the loss of their son, we would like to be able to raise some funds in order to ease some financial strain so that his mumma can take some time to be with his brothers and sisters and grieve," a family friend wrote on Givealittle. 

So far the Givealittle page that has been up for just under 24 hours has raised over $7000. 

The crash between a concrete truck and a ute took place just before 4pm on Friday. Photo / George Heard 

"Our love and thoughts are with Aleisha at this incredibly difficult and sad time. Moe mai rā, Indaka," one person who donated wrote. 

"Sending you so much love Aleisha and whanau, I am absolutely heartbroken for you all," wrote another. 

Tributes and photos have been posted and shared widely of the boys, whose deaths have shaken the Invercargill and Bluff communities. 

Earlier today, Simon Coe, rector of Southland Boys' High School, said the accident is a difficult time for the Bluff, Invercargill and SBHS communities. 

All four of the boys are former students of the school. 

"Our thoughts are with the grieving families and we have reached out to them. 

"We are saddened by the loss of four young men who had a life of potential ahead of them," Coe said. 

He said the staff team at the school will be available for affected whanau and friends over the coming times. 

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