Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Family keep vigil for boy who lost his mum in crash

Rescue workers at the scene of the fatal crash that left 9-year-old Jacob Henderson critically ill in the Starship hospital. Photo / Christine Cornege
Rescue workers at the scene of the fatal crash that left 9-year-old Jacob Henderson critically ill in the Starship hospital. Photo / Christine Cornege

The family of a Cambridge boy critically injured in a crash which killed his mother plan a round-the-clock vigil at his bedside.

Jacob Henderson, 9, remained in an induced coma with head injuries in the Starship hospital in Auckland last night after the car in which he was a passenger collided with a truck at the intersection of Kaipaki and Cambridge Rds on Tuesday morning.

His mother Anna Pidduck, 45, died at the scene, only metres from their Leamington home, and yesterday her siblings were planning her funeral at Trinity Church in Cambridge.

Jacob's father, Ian Henderson, also from Cambridge, and his sister stayed with the rugby-loving boy last night.

Ms Pidduck's older brother Michael Pidduck said the family were just "crossing their fingers" for Jacob to recover and had been told they would know more in three days.

"The father is up there at the moment and it is obviously going to be a long stay if he survives so we will organise a roster to be able to stay at Starship."

Mr Pidduck said Jacob was "a personable fella" and, as an only child, was "doted on" by his mum.

"Anna used to drop him off on the way to work and he would sit on the buses waiting for the driver to take him to school and we would spend most of the mornings chatting and asking about his homework.

"I'm an ex-teacher, so I would be hammering making sure he would be doing his times table and had a book to read."

Ms Pidduck had been metres away from where she was to drop Jacob to meet a shuttle for the Kid Zone School Holiday programme in Te Awamutu, which he had been attending for two weeks when the crash happened.

She had crossed the intersection every day to get to her work place, Lilies by Blewden, on Kaipaki Rd.

Mr Pidduck said that on Tuesday, she stopped at the stop sign to let a truck and trailer past and pulled out without seeing there was a truck trailing behind.

"Unfortunately, it shows that no matter what sort of driver you are, or how long a driver you are, in a moment's inattention ..."

Ms Pidduck's parents were devastated at the loss of their youngest child and only daughter, who had lived in Cambridge her whole life.

She loved horse riding and through her job as a customer service representative at the nursery had also developed a love of flowers.

Lilies by Blewden owner David Blewden said Ms Pidduck was a hard worker and had worked there for nine years.

"She had been recently promoted to quite a senior position in the business.

"She will be missed. She was very, very good with our customers. She knew which customer liked which type of flower."

Blacktop Construction general manager Tony Kay said the driver of the bitumen tanker was shaken and was resting at home in Auckland.

- NZ Herald

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