I miss her terribly - victim's husband

By Jimmy Ellingham

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Just a block away from where she died, Chantelle Giles was farewelled in Patea yesterday.

At an outdoor service at the South Taranaki town's cemetery, family and friends said goodbye to the 22-year-old who was killed a week ago when a milk tanker crashed into the stationary car she was sitting in.

Patea pair John Bayne, 64, and his sister Cherry Bayne, 61, also died in the smash.

Tanker driver Michael Fairclough died on Monday and his case is with the coroner.

Mrs Giles' husband Raphael was only seconds away from also being in the car, but his decision to go and latch a gate saved his life.

Under hot sun and among graves that date back to the 19th century, he told the 80 or so mourners about the special "one-in-a-million" woman he married in December 2014.

The pair are devout Christians and Mr Giles said his wife would be taken to heaven.

Mrs Giles' musical talent was on the minds of many mourners. She was great on the violin and at the front of the service sat her piano, its ivories tinkled by others in musical tribute.

Mr Giles described Chantelle as sensitive, yet cheerful person - the type everybody warmed to.

"She loved animals and she loved people. She was very gentle and calm and never impatient with me," he said.

"I miss her terribly. I don't really want to face things without her," Mr Giles said, before his thoughts turned to last week.

"It all happened so fast that I don't think they would have known what had hit them. They've probably asked why they died."

Mr Giles' dad Owen recalled the pair staying at his Horowhenua house and his joy at hearing Mrs Giles play hymns on the piano.

He then recounted what happened in the crash before asking everyone at the service to slow down and take care on the roads.

"I don't want another one of these."

Mrs Giles' nan, Noeline Nillson, told the story of family bird Cheeko, who loved Mrs Giles and would talk excitedly to her - even over the phone.

"Chantelle give us a kiss, please," he would say.

"I'm thankful for the many happy memories that we shared," Mrs Nillson said.

"We shared a lot together and we shared a lot of love together."

At the end of the service Mrs Giles' coffin was carried to her final resting place at the far end of the cemetery, next to neighbouring farmland.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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