College boy crash victim buried
Avondale College students said farewell to one of their peers yesterday, killed in a police pursuit that lasted mere seconds.
Robert Alaiula, 14, was a passenger in a vehicle that lost control and hit a lamppost and tree at 3.20am last Friday after police tried to stop the car.
His funeral was held yesterday at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Avondale.
The incident happened when police were patrolling in Titirangi after reports of a burglary in Laingholm.
The police car arrived at the Titirangi shops and saw three vehicles in a group, which drove off in different directions.
The patrol decided to stop one of the cars, a grey Subaru Forrester stationwagon with four people inside.
The pursuit lasted 47 seconds before the Subaru, which had been reported stolen, lost control and crashed at the intersection of Golf and Titirangi roads, hitting a lamppost and tree.
Robert died at the scene and two other passengers were critically inured.
The 15-year-old driver escaped with minor injuries and faces charges including reckless driving causing death.
The serious crash unit is investigating the incident.
An internal police investigation is also under way and the Independent Police Conduct Authority has been advised.
Avondale College principal Brent Lewis was attending the funeral and could not be contacted for comment.