"Why is it always the good ones?"
The question comes from the father of a Tauranga teenager killed in an accident on his way to work experience.
Eighteen-year-old Keanan was driving to Kawerau when his car and a truck collided on State Highway 2 at Pikowai on Wednesday morning.
The truck then rolled onto another car. Keanan died and the occupants of the other vehicles were treated for minor injuries.
Keanan's father Werner Hanekom was called to the scene to identify his son's body.
Since then he and Keanan's mother, Vanessa, have received hundreds of messages of support.
He said Keanan was loved by everyone.
"He was an angel, he is where he belongs now."
Hanekom said his son did not drink, do drugs or get into trouble - he called him a role model.
The family came from Pretoria, South Africa, two and a half years ago. Keanan's two sisters and brother still live there.
Keanan found no trouble making friends wherever he went: "He just climbed into people's hearts," Hanekom said.
He was grateful no one else was hurt but questioned why it had happened to his son.
"It wasn't right. It shouldn't be him."
Tauranga Boys' College principal Robert Mangan confirmed Keanan was a Year 13 student at the school.
Mangan said there was a school assembly held following Keanan's death - one for seniors and one for juniors - and a moment of silence was held.
"We are reeling with this loss."
He said Keanan had been at the school since 2021 and was an active member of its South African Support Group.
Mangan shared a message from Keanan's teacher, who said he was an incredibly well-mannered student who clearly held his family in high regard. It was obvious he was proud of his family and his culture.
"He carried himself with integrity."
Mangan said Keanan was "keen to get out into the world" and was enjoying his work experience in metal manufacturing in Kawerau.
Support was being provided to students and condolences were given to Keanan's family.
A GiveaLittle page had been set up by a family friend to support his parents after the accident.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
Messages from friends
Keanan was a good friend when we started hanging out, we created a very strong bond.
Now that he is gone I feel like something is missing from my life.
Keanan was a very close friend of mine, he always had the brightest smile and never seemed angry even when he was, he was a very good friend and person. He loved talking about cars and working on them, it was definitely his biggest passion. He would always chat about what his next car was going to be and what he was going to do with it. He loved being around friends and he loved his family. He always made sure that his mates were looked out for and we all knew we could rely on him and he'd be there for us. We all are going to miss him. Rest easy mate.
Dominic Van Wyk
I was really close to Keanan when I met him. I liked his personality and his passion for his car. He would always talk about his next car and he loved his sound system. Rest easy Keanan we all miss you.
When Keanan and I first started talking he was a really happy and energetic person and loved to talk about what he did back in South Africa. He always talked to me about what car he was going to buy next and absolutely loved his sound system. The thing that made him stand out was the "Boerseun" sticker on his car. He always made sure that his mates were looked out for. Rest easy Keanan, we all are going to miss you.
Keanan was so welcoming and a well-behaved person. No matter what, he would always want to do new things and explore with his family and friends. He will be dearly missed.
Keanan was a really nice guy, It was a pleasure having him as a friend. I always remember him as the car guy and going to miss all the stories he had to tell about cars, really going to miss him. Rest in peace mate.
Keanan was a nice, kind, funny, loving and respectful young man, he would always keep us safe when we drove in his car and when we hang out together. He always displayed good manners and was very lovely. He will truly be missed by many.
Keanan was an awesome friend, someone who was always there when you needed to talk and someone who could always put a smile on your face. He had the biggest heart and always put others before himself. We will miss you.
Being new to New Zealand I didn't know Keanan as well as I wish I had. When I met him the first time he was welcoming and friendly. He was the type of person who always knew how to make you laugh and his passion for cars will always be known and missed, I wish I had more time to make more memories with such an amazing person who impacted so many people's lives in such a positive way.
Not a second goes by where I don't miss his warm smile and his cozy hugs, his silly little jokes that never failed to make everyone laugh, and the way he always automatically lifted everyone's moods just by entering a room. He had a beautiful soul and our memories will always live on in our hearts.
Keanan, To me you were more than just a friend you were family, and always managed to cheer everyone up. You will definitely be missed but never forgotten. May you rest in peace.
To me, Keanan was regarded as a brother, a friend and a family member, and he'll forever live in our memories. May you rest in peace Keanan.