Paul was just 15 years old when he tragically lost his life in a car crash in Ngahinapouri on Thursday 26 October 2006.
Paul, from Hamilton, had stayed at a friend’s house on the Wednesday night. His friend had gone to work on Thursday morning and Paul got into a car with friends to get a lift home to pick something up. Paul was travelling along with three other passengers in a car driven by a 23 year old female driver. The car failed to take a bend and skidded off the road, crashed down a bank and smashed into a tree. Paul was in the front passenger seat. He and a 15-year-old girl, Caroline, sitting behind him both died instantly. Another passenger also suffered serious injuries.
The driver pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison. She was also disqualified from driving for five years.
Paul left behind his parents, Warren and Cherie, two younger brothers Josh and Jarrod, who were aged 12 and 8 at the time. Cherie was also six months pregnant with another son at the time of Paul’s death. Paul was well liked with many friends, fun loving, caring, always able to make you laugh, and an aspiring musician who was never without his guitar.
The family are supporting Road Safety Week. Paul’s mother Cherie said: “Losing Paul was devastating for our family, and I wouldn’t wish our experience on anyone. Yet it happens all too frequently. We’re supporting Road Safety Week because we want others, especially young people, to remember Paul, realise that you are not invincible, it can happen to you just as easily as it happened to Paul, and pledge to keep yourself and others safe – don’t take risks on roads. ”