A fundraiser for two children who died in an ATV crash involving an ATV at a Far North swimming hole has raised over $55,000 in less than 24 hours.
On Saturday, police said six people were on board an ATV-style vehicle when it rolled into the swimming hole on the swollen Waikāinga Stream in Peria.
The fundraiser aims to support both families involved in New Zealand and Australia as they navigate their loss, according to the GoFundMe page.
“The funds will help cover the repatriation of our angels, funeral expenses, and ongoing bills, allowing the families to grieve without the added stress of financial burdens.”
It said the two children, Sonny, aged six, and Eddie, aged four, were “doing what they loved best” on December 29, before the tragic incident – “hanging with their cuzzys, going on adventures, exploring and running wild on grandma’s farm.”
“Tragically at approximately 5.15pm on this day, the UTV they were travelling in struck a boulder, sending the vehicle careering into an 11-metre-deep swollen waterhole at Waikāinga Stream, where no safety barriers were in place.
“Their precious bodies were recovered a day later.”
“Losing you both, has shattered hearts beyond repair. Our hearts are forever broken for you and our family and are unmendable.”
Three people and the driver were taken to hospital with minor-to-moderate injuries following the crash.
The bodies of Eddie and Sonny were pulled from the water a day later.
A rāhui was put in place on the Waikainga Stream from Shepherds Rd to the Peria Saleyards Bridge.
The fundraiser has a target of $150,000 to support the grieving families.