Community in grief after death of 11-year-old hit by train

By Jessica Tyson
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A father has taken to Facebook to share his frustration after witnessing the death of an 11-year-old girl last night.

The girl was with a group of friends on a railway bridge near Ngāruawāhia when she was struck by a train.

In his post, Troy Waters wrote about how disgusted he feels every time he sees youth on the bridge and is calling for the community to stop people from going on it.

“The stupidity of this tradition needs to stop. It’s nobody else’s fault but the stupidity that we put as it is acceptable to chance our life against something so dangerous!” he wrote.

 “Stop glamourising this practice over FB and start knowing where your kids are.”

One woman, Karma Cairns, responded and thanked the father for speaking up.

“Life is too short and we need to look after our kids of today!  They are our future and if no one else cares...voice your thoughts so all can read and change the energy to positive,” she wrote.

Justine Edwards wrote, “So very sad my heart goes out to their whanau, as well as the train driver and the witnesses. So much truth in what you say”.

Sonny Kou Hepi, who works for KiwiRail says the transport operator has “tried and trialed numerous avenues to secure these sites by either putting up fencing and barriers” to stop young people from going on the bridge.

He says it is in the hands of the community to stop accidents from happening.

“Ma koutou te mana hei whakatika i tēnei ahuatanga. Me noho tahi me kõrero tahi hoki koutou kia kimi ai nga hua pai kia tutuki pai te ahua nei mõ te katoa. Kia kaha e te whanau e Waikato e Tainui waka,” says Hepi.

Police are providing support to the girl’s family and the train driver.