River takes mother of 11
A woman from the Gloriavale community was standing near a flooded West Coast river with a group of children when the bank gave way under her.
The body of Rejoice Stedfast, mother of 11, was recovered from the Haupiri River in the Grey District about 8am yesterday.
Stedfast and a group of children had gone to check on the river on Thursday evening when the bank collapsed and she was swept away.
She was married to Valiant Stedfast and was the daughter-inlaw of Gloriavale secretary and treasurer Fervent Stedfast, and sister to Ruth, wife of the late
Gloriavale founder Hopeful Christian. A Gloriavale spokeswoman declined to comment.
A police spokesman said Search and Rescue had recovered a woman’s body. The death will be referred to the coroner.