Mourners spilled out of the Thames War Memorial Hall today as they farewelled a popular local couple killed in a horrific crash.
Jocelyn Anne Fielder, 64, and her husband, Ian, 66, died last week after their car was hit head-on by a vehicle being driven by an Auckland man.
The Fielders, along with Haydn David Clark, from Drury, died at the scene of the crash on State Highway 25 near the Kopu Bridge on Thursday after Clark's vehicle crossed the centre line.
Clark, 20, was on bail for drugs charges and had previously broken his neck in a serious car crash. His father, Jim, was injured in the crash and is still in hospital.
About 850 people packed the hall today for the Fielders' funeral to share stories and remember a couple taken suddenly in tragic circumstances.
A television was used in the foyer of the hall to help mourners see proceedings.
After a 90-minute service the couple's coffins were carried out of the hall by family and friends and placed in hearses. Police briefly stopped traffic at the intersection with Mary St and SH25 to lead the procession to the private cremation.
The Fielders, earlier described as "fun-loving, friendly" people, were returning home to Turua after having dinner at a friend's house when they were killed.
A friend of the Fielders, who did not want to be named, earlier told the Herald they had lived in the area for "30 years or so".
They had raised their children there. Their grandchildren also lived in the area, and had been friends with the neighbours' children.
He fought back tears as he talked of their deaths.
"I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it.
"It's just wrong."
Police also earlier confirmed that the ute driven by Clark had been reported stolen. It was believed to be involved in an Auckland purchase that had gone wrong.