Huntly crash victim's violin teacher says Huntly crash musician the best pupil he ever had

The New Zealand musician seriously injured in a horror car smash that claimed the lives of her young boys and partner loved teaching her children how to play the violin.

Retired Wellington music teacher Vincent Aspey said Belinda Williams, who is now fighting for her life in Waikato Hospital, was the most talented pupil he ever taught and relished sharing her musical passion with her children.

Aspey said his former pupil, who learned to play the violin at high school in Southland, enjoyed a special bond with her two boys and girl, proudly telling him they were now learning the violin.

Monday's deadly road accident had left him in shock and he was praying his prize pupil and her young daughter Tessa would recover from their injuries.

Queensland violinist Stephen Phillips and Williams' two boys, Reuben and Jasper, were killed when their rental car crossed the centreline on State Highway 1 in Huntly and collided with a truck. They had just arrived in New Zealand for a family reunion.

Belinda Williams and Stephen Phillips. Photo / Channel 7 News
Belinda Williams and Stephen Phillips. Photo / Channel 7 News

The former violin teacher said Williams got back into contact with him two years ago, giving a special insight into the "tremendous" relationship she had with her three children.

"She wrote to me about the kids. They were learning the violin from her and they were having a wonderful relationship."

He said Jasper and Reuben were doing particularly well on the violin.

He said the girl he knew as Bindy was his star pupil at Southland Girls' High School, passing Grade 8 with distinction.

"She was the most brilliant pupil I ever had and I taught for 26 years as an itinerant teacher.

"She was just a God-given talent."

Belinda Williams, pictured about age 17, has been described as a "brilliant pupil". Photo /supplied
Belinda Williams, pictured about age 17, has been described as a "brilliant pupil". Photo /supplied

After secondary school, Williams studied performance violin at Canterbury University before leaving to work as a professional musician in Australia.

She switched to the viola and secured work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra before moving to Brisbane and playing in Queensland orchestras.

Aspey said he had come across a recording a few years ago he had made of Williams when she was sitting her final exam and had sent it to her parents.

That prompted her to get back in touch with her first music teacher after some 30 years and fill him in on events that had taken place since she left New Zealand.

"I hadn't heard from her for decades then I received this most wonderful letter describing her life which was absolutely special to get from Bindy," he said.

Those who played alongside Williams in Australian orchestras have shared heartfelt condolences to the families affected by Monday's smash on social media.

Sydney Symphony associate concertmaster Kirsten Williams posted on Facebook the road tragedy had devastated the Australian music community.

"Many of us in SSO remember beautiful Bindy when she played with us for a number of years before she left for Brisbane.

"Our hearts are shattered for her and her daughter Tessa."

Meanwhile, the grieving family have released a statement this afternoon on the Waikato District Health Board website.

"The families would like to thank all the well-wishers who have sent so many messages of love and support, they are finding this a huge comfort at this very sad time," the message read.

"Both, mother and daughter are in a stable condition at Waikato Hospital."

A Waikato District Health Board spokeswoman said Williams had improved slightly to be stable but remained in the High Dependency Unit. Her 9-year-old daughter Tessa remained in a stable condition in Waikato Hospital.

- NZ Herald

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