Waikato road crash claims teenage leader Aleesha Tait's life

St John mourns ‘much-loved and valued’ volunteer.
Aleesha Tait was riding to her brother’s for lunch when her farmbike and a car collided. Photo / Aleesha Tait Facebook
Aleesha Tait was riding to her brother’s for lunch when her farmbike and a car collided. Photo / Aleesha Tait Facebook

St John Ambulance is mourning the loss of a "much-loved and valued" teen leader who was killed in a Waikato road crash on Tuesday.

Aleesha Tait had just finished her morning shift on a farm and was heading home for lunch when her farm bike and a car collided on State Highway 39, southwest of Te Awamutu.

The 19-year-old farm worker died at the scene.

Her heartbroken grandmother Janice Rogers said the crash had devastated the family.

She described Aleesha as a lovely girl who was held in great affection by many people.

"She was very caring and happy. I never saw her downhearted," said Rogers. "She was just one of those kids that everyone loved."

Rogers said her grand-daughter was born and raised in Te Awamutu and had attended local schools.

She was on her lunch break when the accident happened as she headed to her brother's house.

"Her brother works across the road and she was going home for lunch," Rogers said.

Extended family from across New Zealand were heading to Waikato. News of her death spread throughout the community and friends are stunned and shocked.

St John Ambulance yesterday described Aleesha as a "much-loved" member of the St John family.

She had recently been appointed a cadet leader in the Te Awamutu youth division.

"Aleesha started as a youth member in 2010 and in her time has achieved her Grand Prior Award and was a bubbly and a much-loved and valued leader."

The tragedy was also a blow to the Waipa youth division, where Aleesha's mother, Gaylene, was the St John area youth manager.

"We send our sincere condolences to Aleesha's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time and in particular our aroha to Gaylene," the organisation said.

St John also paid tribute to the team who responded and cared for Aleesha at the crash scene.

- NZ Herald

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