A tight-knit Southland community has been left reeling after
three men were killed on Riversdale-Waikaia Road late last
Police today released the names of those killed in the
accident as Christopher Martin Simpson (39) Matthew James
Kennedy McKee (39) and Ewan Charles Christie (59).
All three, who were from the Waikaia/Riversdale area, died at
the scene after the Toyota Hilux utility they were in left
the road and struck the edge of a concrete road bridge just
prior to midnight.
Waikaia chief fire officer Ross Sage, who was called to the
accident with a crew of four, said the accident would have a
massive impact on the tight-knit community.
"You are looking at three different families within the
Waikaia/Riversdale area, of course it's going to affect
everyone in the community,'' Mr Sage said.
It had been one of the most distressing accidents he had been
called to, which was made worse by knowing the deceased.
"We are a volunteer brigade in a small rural area, so we are
bound to know 90% of the people we attend.''
It was now about offering help, where wanted, to the
"The community is rallying around the families and offering
their support where we are wanted.''
The crew was also supporting each other, and had the wider
support of the New Zealand Fire Service, with a "critical
stress unit'' available to them.
The crash scene was attended by emergency services, as well
as the serious crash unit.
An investigation will continue into the cause of the crash
and police are investigating whether alcohol or speed were