The pedestrian hit and killed by a car on Christmas Day was a single mother of six who welcomed her youngest son two months ago.
Aucklander Charlotte Maugakiona Tyrrell, 28, (pictured), died after she was struck by a vehicle on Rosamund Ave in New Windsor, about 10.30pm on December 25. She is survived by six children aged 7, 6, 5, 3, 1 and a baby born in late October.
Her family is reeling from the death but spoke out yesterday about the tragedy.
“We sadly lost Charlotte on Christmas night. What was meant to be a happy, family-filled day ended in our worst nightmare,” they told the Herald in a statement.
“It still doesn’t feel real.”
Tyrrell was the fourth of 17 people to die on New Zealand roads over the holiday period.
Her death is under investigation and at this stage no one has been charged.
“Charlotte leaves behind six beautiful children who didn’t deserve to lose their mum,” the family said.
“She was loved by many and even though she was only 28, her network reached far and wide, with many friends and people who knew her.
“She was outgoing, funny, kind and protective of those she loved. She has left a hole in our hearts and lives that we don’t know how we will fill.”
They said the six children would be Tyrrell’s “legacy”.
“Her children will be surrounded by so much love and the memory of their beautiful mother,” the statement read.
“We love you, Charlotte.”
The family has set up a Givealittle page to raise money to support her children.
“We love her and her children very much and are in shock that she was taken away from us at the young age of 28,” her sister-in-law Sophie Tyrrell wrote on the fundraising page.
“She had so much to live for, she was bubbly, caring and a very strong woman.
“We have a long road ahead of us as a family to sort out her affairs, funeral and raise her children.”
Tyrrell’s parents are said to have taken in the six children and the money raised via Givealittle will be used “for the rest of their lives”.
As of yesterday afternoon, more than $27,500 had been donated to support the family.
The page has been shared on social media and those who knew Tyrrell have posted tributes.
“My heart is heavy for your six beautiful children,” a cousin wrote.
“You were taken away from them on Christmas Day and … they start a new year having to navigate life without their biggest cheerleader, provider and nurturer.”
A friend said she was in shock over the death.
DO YOU WANT TO HELP? CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GIVEALITTLE PAGE
“I pulled over crying … thinking of the children and how much you loved them.
“We were just chatting about kindy and the kids the other day and what an awesome job you were doing as a single mum.
“I’m grateful those were the last words to you … I’m gonna miss our texts and chats … Love you Charlotte I will look out for your children.”
Police said yesterday the road toll of 17 for the holiday period was disappointing as many fatalities “could have been avoided”.
This time last year, 11 people had died during the holiday period and the year before that, the road toll stood at four.
Assistant Commissioner Bruce O’Brien said whānau and friends who lost loved ones in crashes should have been enjoying this holiday period with them, not planning their tangi or funerals.
“The impact on whānau, friends and communities cannot be measured when someone is killed in a road crash.
“It’s also incredibly frustrating for police to see people losing their lives in completely preventable incidents.”
O’Brien said police would continue to have a visible presence on our roads this summer, taking enforcement action where necessary.
“But ultimately it is drivers who have the responsibility to keep themselves, their passengers and other road users safe,” he said.
“We need you to do your part, too.”
The highest number of deaths on New Zealand’s roads during the Christmas and New Year holiday period in recent times was during the 2016/17 season, when 19 people lost their lives.
DO YOU WANT TO DONATE TO CHARLOTTE TYRRELL'S GIVEALITTLE?
If you want to contribute to the fund for Charlotte Tyrrell’s six children please visit the Givealittle page here: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/28yo-old-single-mother-dies-leaving-6-kids-behind
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