As the families of the five teenage boys killed in a car crash in Timaru on Saturday night plan their funerals, friends continue to flock to the scene of the tragedy to try and make sense of it.
Flowers, balloons, personal notes, photos, trinkets and keepsakes are growing at the scene.
Teenagers gathered throughout the day, spending time at the spot where their friends
Javarney Wayne Drummond, 15; Niko William Hill, 15; Jack “Jacko” Wallace, 16; Joseff “Joey” McCarthy, 16; and Andrew Goodger, 15, were all killed.
Five teens were killed and the driver injured when this car crashed near Timaru on Saturday night. Photo George Heard
The Timaru teenagers were all passengers in a Nissan Bluebird that smashed into a concrete power pole.
The impact was so severe, it sliced the car in half.
Only the driver, Tyreese Fleming, 19, survived.
He remains in Timaru Hospital and is in a stable condition.
Fleming, who was on a restricted licence, has not responded to requests for comment but posted an apology to the families of the five dead boys on Sunday via social media app Snapchat.
The scene of the crash is about 10 minutes from central Timaru.
Friends of the teens have been coming to the busy rural road steadily since news of the crash broke.
They come along, with parents, in groups.
Friends of the victims have been gathering at the crash scene. Photo / George Heard
There have been tears, hugs, and sombre conversations as they stare at the spot where their mates took their last breath.
Amid the bouquets, balloons with RIP penned on to them, cans of soft drink, beer, photos and jewellery are notes.
Some are in sealed envelopes or snaplock plastic bags, addressed to the boys.
Some, shorter thoughts, are etched on the pole in black marker.
“Always in our hearts.”
“Forever in our memories.”
“Rest in paradise.”
“You were all the funniest and sweetest boys ever.”
Andrew Goodger’s funeral will be held on Thursday afternoon.
His family did not wish to speak about his death.
Javarney Drummond’s funeral will take place on Friday at 1pm.
Andrew Goodger. Photo / Supplied
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 will be on Saturday.
The police investigation into the crash is ongoing.
Javarney Drummond. Photo / Supplied
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.
Niko Hill. Photo / Supplied
“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.”