Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Otumoetai Eels members pay tribute to former players who died in separate Australia tragedies

Hendrix Hayward was killed in a tragic skateboarding accident in Perth. Photo/Supplied
Hendrix Hayward was killed in a tragic skateboarding accident in Perth. Photo/Supplied

Otumoetai Eels Rugby League Club members have paid tribute to two former players who have died in Australia within a few days of each other.

Former senior player Hendrix Hayward, 23, died in the Royal Perth Hospital on Tuesday after he fell off his skateboard while hitching a ride from a car on Saturday.

Western Australia major crash investigators are asking for the public's assistance on information regarding the fatal crash.

Western Australia police said the incident happened in Landsdale about 3.45pm, shortly after the driver of a Toyota Camry travelling south on Heathfield Drive noticed a skateboarder holding on to the rear of their vehicle.

The 25-year-old male driver, who was believed to be known to Mr Hayward, saw him fall and stopped the car.

Mr Hayward was unconscious but still breathing, and had grazes on his arms, legs and a big lump above his eyebrow,

Police said he was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with critical head injuries. His life support was turned off yesterday.

A family member, who did not want to be named, said Mr Hayward "loved his family, was the life of the party, helpful, never complained and did not have bad bone his body".

In a Facebook post his sister Mata said she was "absolutely crushed".

"Your life was cut short and I would do anything to have you back with me at home."

The driver of the Toyota was assisting police with their inquiries, a police spokesperson said.

In a Facebook post yesterday the Otumoetai Eels Rugby League Club also paid tribute to Phoenix Irving, who had been a member of the under 15's squad back in 2013.

"Deepest condolences to two of our ex Eels players who have just passed within the last few days of each other in Australia ... Arohanui to both your whanaus," the post read.

Bailey Cantrill also posted a message which said: "My heart goes out to the Irving family. Heaven had gained another angel, I'll never forget the memories and good times we had. Rest in peace. Love you brother."

No other information about Mr Irving's death was available at this time.

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