Lola May Robinson knew the roads between Hamilton and Tauranga "like the back of her hand" - and was only minutes into her journey when a collision killed her.

The great-grandmother had spent the weekend with her sister-in-law in Hamilton and was heading home on Monday when she drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Morrinsville Rd and Ruakura Rd and was struck by a truck heading towards Hamilton.

The 82-year-old died at the scene - the 47th person to die on Waikato roads this year.

Mrs Robinson moved to Tauranga from Hamilton 10 years ago to be closer to her only daughter, Karen Ofsoski, who said her mother knew the road "like the back of her hand".


"She was always zipping across over the Kaimais ... she loved going out and about."

Their "Lolo", as her three grandchildren fondly called her, was much loved and had been looking forward to being a great-grandmother for a second time in two weeks.

The keen gardener grew up in a farm in Matangi before moving to Hamilton, where she worked at Pollock & Milne's bridal department for several years. "She used to sew bridal gowns for them. She was a really, really good sewer and heavily involved in floral art," Mrs Ofsoski said.

The family were waiting for the coroner's report to hear what caused the accident as she had no known health condition. "She could thread a needle with no glasses on."

Neighbours in the small complex of units in Mt Maunganui where she lived were shocked at hearing of her death. They described her as a good neighbour.

Her closest friend at the complex died last year and she had regularly visited the Mt Maunganui Cosmopolitan Club before it morphed into Club Mount Maunganui.

Rohan Cobb, who had been unable to stop when the car appeared in front of the truck he was driving along Morrinsville Rd, said Mrs Robinson had been travelling at 80km/h.

Mr Cobb and his passenger, Shane Cochrane, escaped with only a few cuts and bruises in the crash 8km from Hamilton.

Mr Cobb, who was trapped in his truck after it spun 270 degrees, said he hoped to attend Mrs Robinson's funeral.

She will be farewelled today at 1pm at the Hamilton Park Crematorium Chapel on Morrinsville Rd - just a short distance from where the accident happened.