Manawatu teens amongst victims of fatal car crash

Author
Belinda Feek, NZ Herald ,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 8 April 2019, 3:57p.m.
Kevin Hanks, 40, pictured above with his family including wife Robyn, died in a crash at Mangatainoka which also left two of his sons battling serious injuries in hospital. (Photo / Givealittle)
Kevin Hanks, 40, pictured above with his family including wife Robyn, died in a crash at Mangatainoka which also left two of his sons battling serious injuries in hospital. (Photo / Givealittle)

Two Manawatu teenagers were heading to a squash tournament when the vehicle they were in crashed, killing one of them and leaving the other in an induced coma.

Macauley Arnott, 13, known as Mac, died in the crash at Mangatainoka on Thursday alongside his best mate's father, Kevin Hanks.

Hanks' two sons were injured, one critically and the other seriously, including Mac's best mate, Koben, who was to turn 13 today.

The crash happened at the intersection of State Highway 2 and Mara St, near the Tui brewery, at 5.45pm.

Now the families of both of those who died have set up Givealittle pages as they organise funerals and face a new life without their loved ones.

Mac's two sisters, Kaitlyn and Bailey Holtham, wrote how their brother was turning 14 this Friday and was looking forward to his birthday celebrations at Adrenalin Forest.

Mac was the youngest of seven children and "adored by all his older brothers and sisters, and in return he also had endless love for all his family".

"Mac was a kind and gentle boy, with an eagerness to learn, he was interested in anything that was new to him, and had a curiosity that made him thrive.

"Mac lived in Pahiatua enjoying farm life and had a great sense of adventure, loving to explore new things. His quirky sense of humour and amazing creativity & imagination are also things that we will all remember him for."

His hobbies included collecting rocks, drawing, playing squash and he had a new-found love of cricket.

"He played squash and cricket alongside his BMF (Best Mate Forever) Koben, who he was travelling to a squash game with at the time of the accident. The accident also left Koben in an induced coma with serious head injuries and killed Koben's father Kevin."

Kevin Hanks, 40, pictured above with his family including wife Robyn, died in a crash at Mangatainoka which also left two of his sons battling serious injuries in hospital. Photo / Givealittle

Kevin Hanks, 40, pictured above with his family including wife Robyn, died in a crash at Mangatainoka which also left two of his sons battling serious injuries in hospital. Photo / Givealittle

The sisters wrote how adjusting to their new life without their youngest brother would be hard not only for them but also his many friends.

"Not a day will go by where he isn't thought about, remembered, and missed."

Mac will be farewelled in Palmerston North at the Beauchamp Funeral home at 1pm.

Meanwhile, the aunty of the Koben Hanks, Elise Bilich, has also set up a page to help her sister come to terms with her new life without her husband.

Bilich wrote how Hanks, who was to celebrate his 41st birthday next week, was American but had made New Zealand his home.

Together with wife Robyn, they lived in Woodville with their children Kasen 15, Koben 12, Allyka 10, and Ryker 8.

"He spent 10 years working hard on our family farm (Peak View) before moving off there and working at a local plant nursery.

"Kevin was a very sociable person and heavily involved in the local community. Kevin was a passionate squash player and also volunteered his time with search and rescue, coaching local children's soccer teams, as well as previously being chairperson for the Woodville School Board of Trustees."

Squash Central also paid tribute to the pair and their families on their Facebook page, along with the pair's friends at the Tararua squash club.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Koben who is in hospital in serious condition. Their family, friends and the Tararua squash club have lost a huge part of their community and they are all in our thoughts."

The police serious crash unit is investigating the cause of the crash.

 

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