A woman killed in a two-vehicle crash in West Auckland this week just five minutes from her home was the head teacher of a West Auckland kindergarten.
Sue Kloet, 59, died instantly in the head-on crash, her family says.
The accident happened on Waitakere Rd just after 4pm on Tuesday as she drove home from work at Taupaki Kindergarten. Another person suffered moderate injuries.
Kloet, who lived in the Bethells Beach area, was on her way home when the tragedy occurred, said her husband, Tony, who is struggling to understand what happened to his wife.
"She went to work and never came home. We went down and put some flowers there. It's a seemingly straight piece of road."
The couple, who met as teenagers, were married 38 years and had lived at their present home for 25 years. They have two adult children, 31-year-old twins Victoria and Jeremy.
Speaking to the Herald, Tony and Victoria remembered Sue as a highly organised woman with wide interests, a love for people and a passion for children, especially those with special needs.
In the past she had worked for what was then called the Crippled Children's Society.
Victoria said her mum socialised easily. "You could stick her anywhere and she would make a friend. She would make you feel like you were the only person in the room. If people needed a laugh, she made them laugh. If people needed a coffee and someone to talk to, she would listen."
Sue had been involved in clubs to do with some of her interests - swimming, horses and classic cars.
"She was very fit," said Tony. "She used to walk every day. She was a keen gardener - we have got a huge garden here.
"She collected shoes like you wouldn't believe, and she had lovely legs - everyone was jealous of them - she walked so much."
Born in England as Susan Morris, she moved to New Zealand with her family when she was 7. Her parents were business owners. They lived at first in Christchurch, then Whataroa on the West Coast, where her parents owned the grocery shop, followed by Tauranga and Auckland, where she met Tony.
Auckland Kindergarten Association interim chief executive Pauline Winter said the organisation was deeply saddened by Sue's death.
"Sue joined the ... association in 2005 and has been the guiding force at Taupaki Kindergarten for all of that time – mentoring staff, working closely with parents, championing early learning in the wider community and making a positive difference in the lives of the tamariki and whānau who passed through her kindergarten doors.
"Senior staff from the association and the Ministry of Education have been working
to support Sue's colleagues, her kindergarten children, and whānau at this difficult
Taupaki Kindergarten would remain closed this week.
A police spokesman said Kloet's death had been referred to the coroner.
"The investigation is ongoing so we are unable to speculate on whether or not there may be a possibility of charges laid in the future."