Fond farewell for driver

Fam­ily speaks of ‘typ­i­cal cheeky Maori boy’

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Tears, laugh­ter and fond mem­o­ries were shared as friends and fam­ily mem­bers of 22-year-old Rut­ger Hale, killed af­ter a mys­tery ob­ject flew through the wind­screen of this car, farewelled him in a touch­ing cer­e­mony at Lake Hawea. Hale died on Oc­to­ber 24 af­ter he was driv­ing with his girl­friend Danielle Oylear on the Lake Hawea to Al­bert Town Rd. At 6.25am an un­known, fist-sized ob­ject smashed through his wind­screen, hit him in the head and killed him. The mis­sile then smashed out through the rear win­dow. It was be­lieved the item was an ob­ject about the size of a brick and the colour of card­board but af­ter an ex­ten­sive search po­lice have not yet lo­cated the ob­ject or con­firmed what it was. About 50 peo­ple at­tended the farewell held at Scott’s Beach on Sun­day. Hale’s great-un­cle

Peter Phillips said ‘‘it guts me to think he has gone this way but it must have been his time’’. He thanked ev­ery­one who had been in­volved in the in­ci­dent who had tried to ‘‘piece to­gether the rid­dle’’. ‘‘He has been gone four weeks. It feels like a year al­ready. ‘‘He was an amaz­ing young man. A typ­i­cal cheeky lit­tle Maori boy,’’ Mr Phillips said. ‘‘We know he is here with us with­out a doubt. There are so many signs around for me.’’ Miss Oylear said she had spo­ken about death with Mr Hale about three weeks be­fore the ac­ci­dent. He said his time would come when it would come and he was not go­ing waste time wor­ry­ing about it. Miss Oylear said the pair, who had moved to the area only weeks be­fore the ac­ci­dent, felt at home. ‘‘If he was go­ing to leave me any­where, he has left me in the best place,’’ she said.

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