An off-duty police officer who died after being hit by a car is being remembered as a “genuine soul” and the “greatest grandmother”.

Houhora constable Gail Shepherd was walking her dogs on Saturday afternoon when she was struck in Helena Bay, north of Whangārei.

Emergency services were called to the intersection of Webb Road and Russell Road about 3.15pm.

Police said the car left the road and crashed into a power pole before hitting a pedestrian, who died at the scene.

The driver sustained minor injuries.

Shepherd, who had worked at Kohukohu in the Hokianga before transferring to Houhora, has been remembered by whānau and workmates as “instrumental” in the Te Tai Tokerau community.

“A person who was true to herself and stood up for what she believed in and loved her family more than anything in the world,” her police colleague John Larkin said.

“A genuine soul that will be sadly missed by us, the Neighbourhood Policing Team Otangarei and all those who worked with her.”

Shepherd was a loving mother and grandmother, her whānau said.

A message posted online on behalf of her daughter described Shepherd as her best friend and “the greatest grandmother to my babies”. Her daughter’s name is Tyme.

“I will love you and will miss you forever and always,” it continued.

Broadwood Rural Voluntary Fire Brigade also posted on social media saying it was saddened to hear of Shepherd’s death.

“It was a pleasure working with you during your time in North Hokianga. You will be missed.”

A police spokesperson said their hearts went out to the officer’s family and friends, who were receiving support.

“Their passing is a tragic loss for our community and the impact will be keenly felt.

“We are working to ensure our staff can access the support they need at this difficult time.”

rnz.co.nz

Share.