South Otago mourns loss of young people
A sad week in the Clutha district culminates today in the funeral of Corie-Anne Elizabeth Solomon, killed in a car crash on Saturday.
The South Otago Town and Country Club part-time employee’s life is being celebrated at her place of work, in a special service at the Balclutha-based establishment in Yarmouth St, at 1.30pm.
Corie-Anne was killed and three others were injured in a crash between a car and a truck between Milton and Waihola, on State Highway 1, about 3.20pm on Saturday.
A 3-year-old child was in her car, and was taken to hospital by helicopter with moderate injuries. The accident closed the road for six hours. In lieu of flowers, Corie-Anne’s family said in her death notice that donations to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust would be appreciated and may be left at her service.
In her death notice, her grieving family also said she would be ’’loved always, never forgotten’’.
They said she lit up the room when she entered. ’’No longer in our lives to share, but in our hearts, you’ll always be there.’’
They declined to talk about her, but others paid tribute to the 21-year-old Clutha Guards marching member with an ’’infectious smile’’ and ‘‘a bubbly nature’’.
Her sociable nature was reflected in her comments when she entered the South Otago A and P Show Queen in 2013, and told The Southland Times that she liked public speaking and enjoyed the opportunity to ‘‘hang out with the other contestants’’.
On Monday, South Otago farewelled two more of its young people, Thomas John Evans, 30, and Jenna Frances Craig, 26. Their deaths in a microlight plane crash on April 2 also left Balclutha in a state of mourning.
A couple with strong rural ties, their coffins arrived at their funeral on the back of a truck.
Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan said in a close-knit community, such as South Otago, the deaths affected everyone.
‘‘In a small community like ours, this series of tragedies would have touched the hearts of everyone. It shows how precious family is and our thoughts are with the families involved.’’
‘‘There will not be a day that goes by that I won't miss that infectious laugh of yours and that bubbly smile.’’
Corie-Anne Solomon of Balclutha will be remembered by family and friends.
The vintage truck that carried Thomas and Jenna to their funeral.