Editorial: Tragedy hits close to home

By Andrew Austin

Some events in life can have an effect on all of us, even if we don't personally know the people involved.

The tragic death of local woman Hannah Eaton in a terrible accident near Thames at Easter weekend is one such event.

Here was a smart, beautiful and, by all accounts, lovely young lady who had packed a lot into her 25 years and had an even brighter future ahead of her. She was mother to 4-year-old Layla, wife to Magpie and Western Force rugby player Chris Eaton, a part-time model and midwifery graduate. The fact that her life was cut so short has filled many people, including total strangers, with sadness.

The loss was certainly felt in our newsroom, as some of our colleagues were her friends. Also, Mrs Eaton recently appeared on the cover of our leisure magazine, Indulge, to illustrate a story and picture spread we did on a project by Havelock North photographer Richard Wood.

There was considerable sadness when we realised on Monday that Mrs Eaton was the person killed in the accident. It seemed so senseless.

What has been amazing has been the outpouring of support and friendship for Chris Eaton and his family during this terrible time.

The rugby community - as most sporting codes do at times like this - has rallied around him, but even the wider Hawke's Bay community has shown it cares. It would have been tough for him, because not only did he lose the love of his life, but he was in Australia preparing for a match when the accident happened. Needless to say he jumped on the first plane and rushed home, knowing as all parents would at a time like this that his little girl needed him.

Our condolences to Chris Eaton and the family.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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