Teen fighting for her life after fatal crash

Police say they had stopped the chase before the crash. Photo: Grahame Clark, SNPA
Police say they had stopped the chase before the crash. Photo: Grahame Clark, SNPA

A teenage girl injured when a stolen car crashed in South Auckland early on Sunday is still fighting for her life in Auckland City Hospital.

An Auckland District Health Board spokesman said this morning the 15-year-old was in a critical condition "causing concern" in the intensive care unit.

The girl was believed to be driving when two cars collided in Mangere following a police pursuit, although police say they had stopped the chase before the crash. Her passenger, 16-year-old Eden Nathan, died.

16-year-old Eden Nathan died in the crash. Photo / Facebook
16-year-old Eden Nathan died in the crash. Photo / Facebook

Neither was believed to have been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

A friend confirmed that Eden -- known by the "hit name" RØØK.C -- was a member of the gang PBG (Pretty But Gangster).

"PBG is a sisterhood; it's like a second family. The gang was full of her loving friends."

The friend has set up a Facebook page in her memory.

A relative of the driver told 3 News girls had to take part in night racing to maintain their spot in the gang. Often the cars were stolen and the joy rides were recorded on their phones.

The PBG gang had been linked to fights posted on YouTube, and was allegedly linked to three young teenagers who were critically injured after huffing gas and lighting a lighter last year.

Eden attended Mangere College.

Principal Tom Webb said staff remembered her as a "bright and bubbly young girl".

"We have fond memories of Eden during her time at Mangere College. Our thoughts and condolences are with Eden's family at this tragic time."

Several online tributes to Eden have referenced PBG. Some have also referenced the Cripps gang.

'I will always remember her for the good things'

Amy Battrick says she taught Eden Nathan in her final year of intermediate school and has taken to Facebook to lament her passing.

"She was such a clever girl, she was in all the top groups. She made me smile all the time, such a bubbly and fun-loving character.

"Eden was a gorgeous girl with so much potential. She was a really talented reader and writer, she often surprised me with her maturity.

"I kept one of her stories for years. It was about a family member passing away, and written so beautifully it brought a tear to my eye.

"Since then, Eden may have made some bad decisions and gone down the wrong path, but I will always remember her for the good things. Such a tragedy."

Khamara Ashby, who described Eden as her best friend of 12 years, said she was always happy and friendly.

"She was always smiling; always [had] ear phones in listening to rap music; always so happy and very family-orientated."

Eden was well known in many parts of South Auckland.

"[It's] such a tragedy and sad loss. Gone far too soon... God has gained such an innocent young soul."

Another friend of Eden said she had a "heart of gold" and always looked out for others.

"She was the strongest person I know... the most kind-hearted thug soulja that we will all love and miss."

She loved music and spending time with family and friends. Her favourite song was Life Goes On, by Tupac.

'It was going really fast...maybe even over 120km/h'

The police chase started after a Papatoetoe resident reported seeing someone breaking into a car about 3.30am.

Officers arrived four minutes later and tried to get the driver to pull over.

When that didn't happen, they pursued the car around the streets of Papatoetoe and Mangere.

However, by the time of the fatal accident, they had already given up the chase, a police statement said.

A Buckland Rd resident saw the car speed past her property.

"It was going really fast down the middle of the road -- over 100km/h, maybe even over 120km/h. It was really loud, revving lots like a car does when it's really going. We jumped up and saw it cross over the centre lane and crash into a vehicle that was coming from the other way."

The police car arrived moments after the crash, she said. "Then heaps [of police] came and everyone came out of their houses to see what happened."

The resident said it wasn't the first crash she had seen on the long strip of road, which has a 50km/h limit.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is investigating the crash.

- NZ Herald

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