Kotiro loved her first trip away says Mum

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(TOM HUNT – The Dominion Post) Ten-year-old was loving her first trip away from home before she crashed to her death.

Ariana, who lived in Hamilton but had been visiting family in Porirua, died on Thursday after accidentally riding her bike over a steep wooden stairway on a Papakowhai walkway off Cromarty Place. She died at the scene.

Her mother, Tailua Timson, said from Hamilton yesterday that Ariana loved sports and kapa haka.

She was a keen and outgoing pupil at Fairfield Primary School in Hamilton.

“She loved school. [She was] very popular with kids and teachers,” Miss Timson said.

Her trip south to stay with family in Papakowhai was a chance to see her aunties, uncles, and cousins a trip she had been excited to make with her older sisters, Cheyenne, 13, and Tiana, 11.

“It was her first trip away from home,” Miss Timson said.

Ariana, who turned 10 on December 11, had only been away for a couple of days when she had the accident.

She had talked to her mother on the phone the night she arrived, saying she “loved” the trip.

Miss Timson said she received the terrible news on Thursday.

She travelled to Wellington to accompany the body back to Hamilton, arriving home about midnight on Friday. Her tangi would be at the family home today.

Ariana’s father, Richard Kokaua, said Ariana’s younger sister Paige, 4, was old enough to understand what had happened.

At the time of the accident, Ariana had been riding to a nearby dairy with her older sisters and a cousin. She was on a bike borrowed from her cousin.

Kapiti Mana police acting area commander Inspector Soni Malaulau said the death was not being treated as suspicious and had been referred to the coroner.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the walkway was last audited for safety in 2009 but he was getting council officers to report back to him on its present condition.

However, early indications were that it was in good condition and there had not been any similar accidents.

Ariana’s death was a “bloody awful thing to happen”, he said.

A Porirua City Council spokeswoman said the council would help with the inquest. If it recommended more safety features on the path, the council would install them. “Anything that would prevent it from happening again,” she said.

The steep steps run straight off a downward sloping concrete path.

Ariana’s intended route would have required her to make a right turn at the top of the steps.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ahakoa kua kotahi tau i tau ngarohanga atu e hotuhotu tonu ana a manawa. Love & miss u Ari! From your cuzn…Hikz xoxox

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