Young mother Hannah Eaton was farewelled at a moving funeral service in Napier yesterday.
Mourners at St John's Cathedral heard tributes and messages from friends and family.
In an emotional tribute, husband Chris Eaton, a former Hawkes Bay, Wellington and Super Rugby player, said words could not describe the love he had for his wife.
She was a mum, a part-time model and a recent midwifery graduate.
The gathering nearly filled the cathedral to capacity and lasted just over an hour.
Her brother Ben Stephens sang and school friends described her as a woman who had a wonderful sense of humour.
Mrs Eaton, 25, who lost her mother in a crash when she was young, was killed in an Easter weekend accident when the vehicle she was driving collided head-on with an SUV near Puriri on SH26 between Paeroa and Thames.
She and Mr Eaton have one child, 4-year-old daughter Layla, who was not involved in the crash.
Her husband had been in Sydney preparing for his first match for Perth-based Australian Super 15 side Western Force when the crash occurred.
Last week a doctor seriously injured in the accident offered her condolences to the family.
"We have young children ourselves and so we know the heartache and sorrow her family must be feeling. We offer our best wishes and support to Hannah's family."
Magpies assistant coach and former All Black Danny Lee described Mrs Eaton's death as devastating.
"It's sickening to think about, and we will support him and Layla as much as we can."
Mrs Eaton had started work with the Hawkes Bay District Health Board, having recently graduated with a bachelor of midwifery.
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