Tragic loss of young rugby star
Teen’s death under investigation
A 15 year old killed by a car on State Highway 1 at Tokoroa was a promising rugby player who excelled at debating.
Rangitiriao Frederick Murray Wilson, of Tokoroa, died after being hit by a northbound car about a kilometre north of the town on Sunday.
Taupo police crash analyst Senior Constable Dave Frazer said it had been clarified that the car that struck Rangitiriao, known as Rangi, was the only vehicle involved in the incident.
The biggest question now, was how and why Rangi was lying in the road at 4am on a Sunday, Mr Frazer said.
‘‘He has been lying on the road when he was run over; why he was on the road lying down, we don’t know.’’
Mr Frazer said Rangi had been at a party.
‘‘He had been at a party and was taken to town earlier in the night.
‘‘At the moment we’re trying to find out where else he has been.’’
Mr Frazer described Rangi’s death as a ‘‘waste’’ and said it appeared Rangi may have been under the influence of alcohol.
It was too early to say what, if any, charges would be laid against the driver of the vehicle which hit Rangi.
The woman and her female passenger both suffered serious injuries in the crash.
‘‘It was dark, no speed [issue], no lighting, could she have seen him?
‘‘There’s a lot of work to be done at the moment,’’ Mr Frazer said.
Tokoroa High School principal and a Wilson family friend, Willie Ford, told the Waikato Times the family were ‘‘devastated’’.
‘‘They’re taking it very hard . . . especially the dad.
‘‘I have known dad for a long time and he was close with his boy.
‘‘I went around as soon as I heard [on Sunday] and I will go around when Rangi is brought back to the family home. . .
‘‘I think the rest of us just have to support them as much as we can.’’
Rangitiriao’s funeral was held today at Tokoroa High School’s Whanau a Noa Marae.
Mr Ford said Rangitiriao’s family wanted answers about the accident as much as everybody else.
Rangitiriao had attended Tokoroa High School since the beginning of last year after previously attending Forest View High School.
Mr Ford said Rangitiriao was a popular boy who was heavily involved with the school, being a wing with the First XV rugby team, on the debating team and on the Maori debating team the Ngamanu Korero group.
Rangitiriao, the youngest of five siblings, was yet to make up his mind about what he wanted to do when he was older but had been likely to attend university.
GONE TOO SOON: Rangitiriao Frederick Murray Wilson died after being hit by a northbound car one kilometre north of Tokoroa.