Close to $25,000 has been raised for the family of a young Taranaki girl killed while cycling home from school.

As at this afternoon, and just day after being set up, a Givealittle page to help eight-year-old Emma Warren's grieving parents had attracted more than $24,500.

Emma was killed on Wednesday afternoon after her bike collided with a truck, moments after riding out the front gate of Inglewood Primary School.

The community has rallied around her parents, S'ean and Karen Warren, while more than 480 people have donated to the appeal launched by Inglewood resident Matthew Harrison.


"A little girl was taken from this world without warning," Harrison wrote.

"This family and our community are hurting and I'd like to make sure the family have one less thing to worry about."

Harrison declined to discuss the appeal when contacted this morning, out of respect for the family's request for privacy.

Earlier, it emerged the death of Emma, described as a cheerful, "beautiful" young girl, had been the second tragedy suffered by the family in eight months.

In early January, the family were left devastated when Karen's son, and S'ean's stepson, Tyler Gilbert, died suddenly, aged 21.

"When you lose someone, if it's cancer or a car accident or heart attack, in a way I can kind of understand it because there's something behind it," Karen Warren told Fairfax in an interview in April.

"But with [this], to us, to those left behind, there is no reasoning that we can understand. It bloody sucks."

Karen Warren had told Fairfax then that the loss of Tyler had also affected his little sister Emma hard.


"It's not like she can talk to her 7-year-old friends at school. That was her big brother who was meant to look after her and he said he would look after her.

"She says, it's not fair."

The tragedy spurred the couple, who married in March, to speak out about suicide, and S'ean was moved to set up a community fridge for Inglewood.

Photo / Givealittle
Photo / Givealittle

Yesterday, residents had left bouquets of flowers at the crash site, on the corner of Rata and Miro Sts.

A man who was at the crash posted a message to Emma's family on Facebook.

"I was there, I covered the poor wee broken love with my top," Jack Evans wrote on the Taranaki Daily News Facebook page.

"I was not involved but one of the first there.

"I'm devastated, in shock and struggling to cope, I was returning with my own girl of the same age from school, I can't imagine what the parents are going thru [sic]."

He said his "heartfelt condolences" went out to Emma's family.

"I don't know what else to say other than I will be part of this little girl's journey forever as she is now a part of mine," he wrote.

"I am so so sorry."

Community board chairman Kevin Rowan understood there had been no major concerns around traffic safety in the area, and considered the tragedy a freak accident.

Fire crews at the scene of the fatal crash in Inglewood. Photo / Abe Leach
Fire crews at the scene of the fatal crash in Inglewood. Photo / Abe Leach

Rowan, who didn't learn about the crash until late last night, said such events were rare in the Taranaki town - and couldn't recall anything like it happening.

Inglewood was a small, tight-knit community, he said, and families would be pulling together to offer to help.

The tragedy has drawn an outpouring of love and support from the school community.

"Kia kaha to the family and all others involved, this little girl was always smiling, the happiest most beautiful wee girl, so tragic," wrote one.

Taranaki Highway Patrol Sergeant Allan Trow said the family were also receiving support from police.

A police spokeswoman today said it was too early to say how the crash happened and the serious crash unit was investigating.

That inquiry was expected to take "some time" and no further update was expected today.

Inglewood Primary School principal Karen Patterson confirmed the crash had happened while Emma was cycling home from the school.

"Our Inglewood Primary and wider school community extend our deepest sympathy to the family and close friends."

The Ministry of Education's traumatic incident team was supporting the staff, students and school community, Patterson said.

Trow said the truck involved in the crash was carrying stock food.

He told Fairfax it appeared the truck had been turning out of Miro St and the girl had been riding along the footpath before the crash happened.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call Inglewood police on (06) 756 0901.


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


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