Timaru car crash: Funeral plans for lost boys announced

Funeral plans for five teenage boys killed in a car crash in Timaru on Saturday night have been announced – along with tributes from their grieving families.

Javarney Wayne Drummond, 15; Niko William Hill, 15; Jack “Jacko” Wallace, 16; Joseff “Joey” McCarthy, 16; and Andrew Goodger, 15, were all killed when the Nissan Bluebird they were travelling in smashed into a concrete power pole.

The impact was so severe, it sliced the car in half.

Only the driver, 19-year-old Tyreese Fleming, who was on a restricted licence, survived the smash.

Details of funerals for Javarney and Andrew were published in family notices today.

Andrew, survived by parents Richard and Andrea and sister Jorja, will be farewelled on Thursday at 1.30pm at Timaru’s Life Church.

His family said he was “much loved”and that his funeral would be a celebration of life.

Javarney is survived by his parents, Stephen and Robyn, and sister Zarlea.

He was also described as a “very much loved” family member.

His farewell will be held on Friday at 1pm at Aoraki Funeral Services.

Stephen Drummond spoke to the Herald yesterday about the death of his son.

“I can’t paint a car for him so I’ll paint his coffin,” he said in an emotional interview.

“My hearts go out to the families. I’m gutted for them as much as I am for my own family.

“To lose five kids, and they’re all mates, is huge.”

Niko Hill’s funeral is still be finalised.

He is survived by parents Carissa and Hemi, and Amosa and his younger brother Malakai.

“Very loved and will be sadly missed,” his death notice read.

The police investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said yesterday it was too early to say if the driver would be charged.

“We won’t be speaking to the driver until we have got a little bit more information -obviously the investigation is very early days at the moment, and it would be better to speak to him when we have as much information as possible,” he said.

“From observations at the scene, I suspect both speed and alcohol were factors.”

He said it was obvious some of the boys were not wearing seatbelts.

One of them was in the boot when the car crashed.

“It’s like baking a big cake,” said Gaskin. “When you have got all the ingredients you are always going to have a disaster at the end of it.

Gaskin said the whole town was hurting.

“Timaru is a town but it’s a small town and people know people – some of my staff know all the young men involved. I happen to know one of the families,” he said.

“It’s incredibly sad and it puts it into perspective.

“The problem with the police is we tend to go to disasters all the time and we are very good at dealing with it but this occasion means it’s actually quite personal and close to you.”

Tyreese Fleming remains in a stable condition in Timaru Hospital.

On Sunday he posted a photo and message to social media site Snapchat apologising to the families of the dead boys.

His family have not responded to the Herald.

Friends of the victims have planned a memorial for them on Saturday night and are encouraging people to come along in their cars and “tear up” the road.

The plan has drawn criticism from some corners. But organisers have urged people attending to be responsible.

“Let’s all show them how much we miss them,” says a post being shared widely on social media.

“We would love it if you came but please remember to drive safely and wear seatbelts.

“Feel free to tear up the road as much as you want but make sure that no one gets hurt.”

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