All it took was one silly drunken mistake and now a whanau is devastated and grieving. More details are emerging about the tragedy that took the life of 19 year old Jacinta Waipouri of Pukekohe and critically injured her friend, Helen Dando (24) on the notorious Whitford-Maraetai Road about 11pm Thursday night.
Tributes have been flowing in on Jacinta’s Facebook page, and a quick look at it shows her to be a typical teen, young and beautiful, who loved hanging with friends and having fun, playing touch and netball. She described herself on her Facebook page saying “ilove ta live life tew the fulest”.
Jacinta’s boyfriend Mark Taska spoke to the Weekend Herald last night describing what led up to the accident. It was silly kid stuff, they argued about some text messages and she asked him to pull over and let her out of the car.
They couple had only been going out for a month and had been hanging out at Jacinta’s house in Pukekohe. The raru started in the car with Jacinta telling Mark to pull over, she got out of the car and walked on to the road and sat down.
We were trying to pull her up but she didn’t want to move. She said ‘leave me alone I don’t want to be near you’.” Mark told the paper.
Jacinta’s friend, Helen then joined her on the road to awhi her. When Mr Tasker saw car lights coming around a bend, he screamed out to them “get off the road, get off the road” but it was too late.
The driver of the east-bound car saw the women and braked hard, but still hit both of them. The driver got out immediately and helped perform CPR on Jacinta but she died at the scene while Helen drifted in and out of consciousness.
[sws_pullquote_right]”I wish I could turn back the clock,” he said. [/sws_pullquote_right] Mr Tasker said he spent yesterday in shock, and wasn’t sure he could face Miss Waipouri’s tangi.
Yvonne Puti, the first person to arrive on the scene, was outside her parents’ house having a smoke, when she heard the screams.
“They were saying ‘get off the road, get off the road’ … Then there was a big grinding sound.”
What she and her husband found at the roadside was “indescribable”.
Helen’s father, Neville Dando, and wife Sue were at Middlemore Hospital yesterday.
She has a broken femur, a smashed wrist, a broken right arm, pelvis broken but not too badly, she’s got lots of bones broken.” But she was still “better than you’d think” considering a vein to her heart had also been dislodged.” Mr Dando said.
Doctors were worried Miss Dando could have a head injury.
“They woke her up for a minute and she was alert, she was able to respond and move her legs. “It’s going to be a long recovery but we’re hoping it’s not a head injury.”
It’s believed the driver of the car who hit the women was on his way home from work.
He was breath tested at the scene and no trace of alcohol was found.
Police said it was too early to say whether charges would be laid.