Mother of crash victim thanks community for support

The mother of the four-year-old boy killed by a car driven by a teenager has thanked the community for its support and said she holds no anger towards the driver.

Emma Woods said she could talk about her boy's death because the reality had yet to sink in. Other members of her family were too upset to attend a media conference at Christchurch Hospital today.

Nayan Samuel Woods died after being hit by the car while walking in central Christchurch on Friday evening.

The car slid from side to side on the road before climbing the footpath and hitting Mrs Woods and her other son, six-year-old Jacob.

Jacob suffered multiple fractures and Mrs Woods had minor injuries.

"The only reason I can talk to the media is that it hasn't sunk in yet. It doesn't feel too real yet. I know that in the grieving process there is anger but at this stage we're not angry. It was just a tragic accident," Mrs Woods said.

She said she did not want the tragedy to be the defining moment in the teenage driver's life. He had his whole life in front of him.

When asked by NZPA if there were any lessons to be learned in terms of traffic safety, she said she had not seen how the motorist was driving because he had hit them from behind.

"He wasn't racing a friend. He was driving home from work. He came over to help. He was obviously devastated at the time. It would be different is he was racing or drinking."

On behalf of her husband Duncan, Mrs Woods thanked the community for offers of help, which had been "overwhelming", many from people her family did not know.

"We want to tell people a little more about Nayan, how amazing he was. He'd only been here four years but he meant a lot to other people. He had a gentle nature, was very caring, would always share things even if he broke them in half and took the bigger bit. He was always joking with Jacob."

Jacob is recovering with broken bones in hospital, where his condition was described as comfortable.

Mrs Woods said she was pleased to have spent as much time with Nayan as possible through involvement in playcentre. She said she encouraged parents to join organisations like that to be with their children and the make the most of every moment.

"There wasn't any better way I could have spent my time with him. We were pretty inseparable."

Ms Woods said her family were due to arrive soon from Canada and she had been inundated with offers of beds and caravans.

She had been to the tapu lifting at the Linwood Avenue accident site and she knew she would pass by frequently in future.


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