A Hamilton man speeding on a stretch of road where his mum died has been left in shock at an almost-divine twist of fate.
Driving back into Hamilton on Sunday, Eliot Jessep was pulled over by the same policeman who had been first at the scene of his mum's fatal crash exactly eight years earlier.
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Jessep had been going just "a few kilometres over the limit", but was quickly reminded by the officer that he of all people should know better.
"Some of my more religious friends say that was God, or that's your mum looking down on you," he said.
"Whether it was mum or a crazy coincidence, it was pretty freaky and special."
The encounter left Jessep reeling, and he spent 10 minutes parked on the side of the road after the officer left.
"I just started crying, it was so overwhelming."
He later posted about it to Facebook partly as a reminder for others to stay safe on the roads this Christmas.
"People can never be reminded enough about that - including myself," he said.
Jessep's mum Paula Jessep, 37, died in 2011, just three days before Christmas, when she was driving home to Hamilton after attending a funeral in Rotorua.
Her car collided head-on with another vehicle carrying three young women, who suffered serious injuries and had to be cut free from their badly damaged wreck.
In an inquest into her death in 2012, senior sergeant Fane Troy said he found Paula Jessep's cellphone in the driver's footwell of her car with a half written text on the screen.
Troy revealed that Paula Jessep sent 19 texts within a 45-minute period leading up to the crash.
The death led Jessep - in a 2017 Herald article - to plead with motorists to put their phones away, saying the accident turned his whole world upside down.
"It was huge. I hope people read this and realise the risks - they could die or kill someone," he said at the time.
"Making a mistake in a car has much bigger consequences than making a mistake doing something else."
Jessep's freak run-in on Sunday with the officer first to the scene of his mum's crash took place just 20km further along State Highway 1, he said.
He said he was normally "hyper-aware" about driving safely and ignoring distractions such as using his mobile phone.
So when he was flashed by the patrol car and pulled over, he began admonishing himself.
"This is so embarrassing being pulled over in general, but also today," he said to himself.
The officer checked Jessep's licence and took a few steps back before returning to his window seconds later.
"He told me you should know better than to speed," Jessep said.
"I said, 'yeah, I know, I really should know better', and explained how mum was killed eight years ago to the day."
'I know, I was the first one there," the officer said.
Jessep then asked the officer about his mum's crash.
"They were questions I didn't really want the answers to but also kind of wanted to know," he said.
"Most were things I already knew from the coroner's hearing but to hear it direct from the source was overwhelming and helped with some closure."
The experience turned out "weirdly, really nice".
"How crazy that of all the cops that could have pulled me over and on all the dates I could of been pulled over, it was him, eight years to the day and almost to the hour," Jessep wrote in his Facebook post.
"Be safe out of the roads."
"Side note: He let me off the ticket."