East Cape whanau's tragedy

By Kereama Wright

Police have today named the three people who died in a crash in Te Araroa yesterday as 43-year-old Tiny Tibble, her 14-year-old son Ashton-Lee Rangihuna, and her 10-year-old daughter Ana-Roimata Rangihuna.

Police say the vehicle the three were travelling in hit a tree on State Highway 35 near the east cape township early yesterday morning, the same tree where another member of the family crashed into and died a month earlier.

Detective Sergeant Eric Hunter says enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are continuing and the matter will be referred to the Coroner.

The deaths have devastated the close-knit community of Te Araroa.

They come just a month after East Cape man Lance Rangihuna was killed in a car crash at the same spot.

Emergency services responded to yesterday's crash, near Tokata Rd just past Karakatuwhero Bridge, about 5.45am.

The four-wheel-drive Land Cruiser was on its roof on the side of the road when the first fire crew arrived.

Te Araroa and Tikitiki firefighters responded, along with police. St John Ambulance from Ruatoria was also called out. St John officers pronounced the victims dead at the scene.

On October 15 Rangihuna died just before 7.30am in a single-vehicle crash.