A 16-year-old who died in a crash yesterday was returning from a chicken farm where he worked with teammates to raise money for an overseas rugby trip.
Principal of Matamata College Alan Munro said Corbin Morgan, two other students and one former student were on their way back to school when they crashed on Maiseys Rd, near Waharoa, at 10am yesterday.
They had been working to raise money to go on a rugby trip to Argentina next year.
The school's first XV go on a rugby trip every two years. The players had been fundraising since November for the trip next year.
"We're old school, our kids work hard picking up hay and shovelling horse s**t," Munro said.
"They do all sorts of things on weekends and after school."
Corbin died at the scene of the crash. The three other occupants were taken to Waikato Hospital. One was discharged last night and the other two are in a stable condition this morning.
Munro said the school and the community has been in "terrible shock" following the news of the Year 11 student's death.
A crisis plan has been implemented with a safe space students can retreat to and staff and students had rallied to support one another, he said.
"We had assembly this morning just to let everyone know the other boys are fine and pulling through and congratulate the school body in supporting each other yesterday."
Munro had not been able to make contact with the family.
A classmate of Corbin's said the school was filled with "tears and hugs" after news of the tragedy.
"Finding out about this while in class was a shock to everyone, a lot of people went home, while others stayed by the library to comfort one another," the girl told the Herald.
"After we all found out, the school was all quiet during lunch and was filled with tears and hugs. Matamata College will never be the same without Corbin."
Some of Corbin's young friends have taken to Facebook to remember him.
One former schoolmate wrote: "You were a real funny guy and really good at rugby too ... You will be missed by all as you have touched everyone's hearts".
Another friend described Corbin as "one of the happiest people I know".
"His smile made me smile he could always make you laugh and was a great friend to me I'll never forget you man I love you bro and I wish I could tell you this now to your face I love you bro. I love you bro was to early man I can't believe this happened I love you," the teenager said (sic).
A police spokesperson confirmed the vehicle was the only one involved in the crash.
"As the crash is with the serious crash unit, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
"Police can confirm there were four males in the car, aged between 16 and 19 years old.
"One 16-year-old died at the scene and the other three were taken to hospital with minor injuries."
Maiseys Rd - a quiet, dead-end road east of Waharoa township - has been closed as the police serious crash unit investigates.
Police said their thoughts were with the family of the boy who was killed.