Tahl Southwick's mother says her daughter was "an angel on earth".

"Now she's going to fly high and be an angel looking over a lot of other people forever. She was that sort of person, she won't leave us, she'll be here."

Her 18-year-old daughter was killed in a car crash on Farndon Rd near Clive on Wednesday night when her car collided with a truck.

Her mother, Helen Morris, said she couldn't have asked for a better daughter and best friend.


"It still feels surreal. I cannot believe that I'm not going to have this gorgeous girl in my life anymore.

"I was so lucky to have a daughter like her. She was a fabulous sportsperson, she played hockey and canoe polo. Everybody she met, she just touched their life. She had this enormous, great big smile that would light up the room."

Born in Tauranga, Tahl spent the first eight years of her life in Rotorua before moving to Hawke's Bay.

Over the past few days tributes had flown thick and fast for the young woman who had clearly touched everyone around her.

"It's people coming to share how Tahl impacted on their life which is so, so important because you have your own perspective as a parent but when you see and hear so many examples of so many people she touched and who remember her and who loved her. She was quirky and sassy and she was just utterly lovable," Ms Morris said.

A friend of Tahl's, Troy Stewart, said she met her while looking after her at a holiday programme and had since become very close to her.

"She was always at my house and I have two kids who she spoilt every time she could. The most beautiful person around. I absolutely loved her.

"She just lights up the room. That's a huge thing for her is that regardless of whatever situation and place she was in she truly did light up the room and you can tell that from all the comments and everything online and the people that have come out of the woodwork with stories."

Tahl was a student at Karamu High School and held a leadership position during her final year of secondary school study in 2016.

Karamu High School principal Michael Leitch said the school had personally extended their condolences to the family, but said he did not wish to comment further.

The Serious Crash Unit's investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Ms Morris said there were too many young lives being taken on Farndon Rd and wished to see the speed limit on the stretch of road reviewed in light of her daughter's death.

Tahl will be farewelled at 2pm on Monday at the Beth Shan Chapel in Hastings.

"As a tribute to an amazing 18 years we're going to give her the best possible send off we can."