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A plea for patience on the roads

Bereaved mother of road crash victim urges motorists to think twice before they act.

When asked about losing her daughter in a road crash in 2020, Diane Cecil says, “We will never heal. Losing a child is something you can never let go of.”

On March 23, Diane’s daughter Rayna was being driven north by her husband on a stretch of winding road near Piopio in the Waikato region. The couple’s young child was travelling in the back seat.

The driver was following a truck and trailer unit travelling at approximately 80 km/h before he became impatient, waiting for a clear stretch of road to overtake. At 6.40 am, he pulled out over the centre line to overtake as he approached a blind corner. A car travelling south rounded the corner, and the two vehicles collided head-on.

The driver and the couple’s young daughter suffered injuries in the crash, and the driver of the other vehicle was also injured. Diane’s beloved daughter Rayna was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Rayna was my soul mate. My friend. My everything,” says Diane.

Shortly after her daughter passed away, Diane was contacted by Victim Support volunteer support worker Sandy to offer help and guidance.

“Sandy listened and kept me informed and passed on all the information I needed to hear. During the court case, she knew exactly when everything was happening and who the contact people were. She kept me on track,” she says.

Diane says the ongoing contact with Victim Support has been invaluable. “Sandy still calls or texts me, and we talk. She gives me an update and checks in to see how I am. And we have a laugh too. She’s wonderful.”

Following the crash, the driver told police that he had become impatient and admitted there was limited clear visible distance in front of the truck.

Diane would like motorists to hear her story and consider the consequences of split-second decisions on the road.

“Think twice before you take action. Life is too short. Be patient. My son-in-law was impatient, trying to get his wife to work on time, and that’s when the tragedy happened.”