A friend of a Whakatāne woman killed alongside her partner in a car crash near Cambridge over the weekend has described her as a lovely person.
Brenda Kora, her partner Chris O'Byrne and their 9-month-old son Eli were travelling on Cambridge Rd around 5.40pm on Saturday when they were involved in a crash with a small logging truck.
Kora and O'Byrne were killed and Eli was taken to hospital in a critical condition. A social media post by family members since the crash said Eli remained in hospital but was "awake, alert and breaking through with his sweet giggle".
The friend, who did not want to be named, said Brenda contacted her last year after learning she was pregnant.
"We hadn't seen each other for a while but she got in touch to say congratulations," she said.
"Earlier this year she messaged again to see if I was enjoying motherhood and to ask what size clothes my baby was wearing.
"We were supposed to meet up as she had put aside a bag of baby clothes for me."
The woman said Brenda was close to her mother and sister, both of whom she understood lived in Whakatāne.
"We used to hang out a lot back in the day, Brenda was an awesome mum to Riley," she said.
Tributes for both Kora and O'Byrne have been flooding in on social media, with friends of Kora describing her as an extraordinary person with a kind heart.
O'Byrne, who was a keen angler, served in the New Zealand Defence Force according to a post by a friend.
Brenda's cousin, Pam Tomkins, has created a Givealittle page to raise funds for Eli and Riley, 11, who was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
"Eli, 9 months, remains in Waikato hospital after a motor vehicle accident in Cambridge on Saturday evening which killed his Mum and Dad - Brenda and Chris," Tomkins wrote.
"Riley, 11 years [Brenda's son from a previous relationship] fortunately wasn't in the vehicle however he too has lost his much loved Mum and step Dad.
"All funds raised will go directly to a trust for the boys for their future support. Eli and Riley will be cared for by family."
The page had raised more than $12,500 as of yesterday afternoon.
Two services are being held for the couple. The first will be at the Bible Chapel in Te Awamutu on Friday at 11am and the second at Willetts Funeral Services in Whakatāne at 1pm on Saturday.