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Donations pour in for crash victims

By Natalie Dixon -
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Grey Street Flower Company put together gift baskets for Faith and Phoenix Ruddell. PHOTO/GREY STREET FLOWER COMPANY
Grey Street Flower Company put together gift baskets for Faith and Phoenix Ruddell. PHOTO/GREY STREET FLOWER COMPANY

Donations are pouring in for two Bay children who survived a car crash that claimed the life of their mum.

More than $10,000 has been raised to help support Phoenix, 4, and Faith, 3, Ruddell, who are recovering in Starship hospital after surviving a head-on crash on State Highway 2 at Te Puna on May 2.

Their mother, Tracey O'Brien, 26, died at the scene of the crash. She will be farewelled at a service at the Omokoroa Community Church today.

Faith suffered bruising on her brain and faces a year long recovery. Phoenix is in a 75 per cent body cast with two broken legs, broken arm and pelvis.

Ms O'Brien's former partner and father of the children, Matt Ruddell was "overwhelmed by the support he had been receiving", including from Tauranga restaurant the Phoenix.

The restaurant yesterday held a fundraiser for the family, donating 10 per cent of their Mother's Day takings toward the family, Phoenix co-owner Mel Lawrence said.

Mrs Lawrence said she and her husband would be helping Matt plan how to best use the donations for the children.

The Givealittle.co.nz donation page had reached $10,373 last night before the contribution from Phoenix was added: www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/phoenixandfaith

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