Tributes flow for brother and sister killed in horror crash

By Jimmy Ellingham

The funeral for siblings John and Cherry Bayne included a message of compassion for the tanker driver who crashed into them.
The funeral for siblings John and Cherry Bayne included a message of compassion for the tanker driver who crashed into them.

Tearful tributes and heartfelt memories of two people killed when a truck crashed into their car in Patea were shared among a crammed church hall this morning.

In front of more than 100 family, friends and colleagues, there was also a message of compassion for the truck driver.

Siblings John Bayne, 64, and Cherry Bayne, 61, died last Thursday in their Taranaki hometown, alongside friend Chantelle Giles, 22.

Tanker driver Michael Fairclough died on a Monday and his death is being investigated by the coroner.

Among the words about family, music, love and faith shared at the memorial service for John and Cherry Bayne at Hawera's Seventh Day Adventist church today was a message to Mr Fairclough and his family.

"My heart really bleeds for the tanker driver. I would not want to have that sort of pain in my heart.

I tried to get hold of him, but I just couldn't," Mr Bayne's brother Paul Roberts said, when delivering his eulogy.

"It was just an accident."

Mr Roberts remembered Mr Bayne as a cheeky youngster who arrived in New Zealand from Australia.

He loved playing saxophone and his instrument sat leaning at the front of the church during the memorial.

Mr Bayne also loved his cleaning job at McDonald's Hawera, taking pride in keeping the restaurant spotless.

"In John's death, there is something that I have noticed has happened in the community. It just keeps repeating itself: 'he's kind, he's generous' ... He was a very generous person and the community's going to miss him but I'm sure his spirit will live on."

Mr Roberts said his brother had the odd project on the go. His latest was to buy a $10,000 steam cleaning machine and "revolutionise McDonald's".

"He loved his job, really loved it and took it as a work of art. He said we've got the best McDonald's in all of New Zealand, I've made it clean. I think it did get a mention for being clean. He certainly made its mark there."

He also tinkered with saxophones, but it was family and faith that made a lasting impact.

"John really loved his children. They were precious to him and the thing that I feel John has given them, he's got them over here and he wants them up in heaven," Mr Roberts said.

Paulene Pearce, who with her husband Mark flew in from Brisbane, delivered the eulogy for Ms Bayne, her big sister.

"As you can imagine, she was amazing. She stood up to the call. She was a great big sister and I had the pleasure of calling her mummy Cherry as well.

"[She] was much quieter than John but well-loved as well. Those that got to know Cherry saw her beautiful, kind heart."

Ms Bayne worked hard to provide furniture for the family's Patea home and, much to her delight, was mother to a beautiful girl.

"I'll never forget my mummy Cherry or John, our musician," Mrs Pearce said.

The family decided to hold a memorial service without Mr and Ms Bayne's bodies, as one was awaiting release from the coroner.

- NZ Herald

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