Karen Yin Mei Yong was a keen Ceroc dancer.
An innocent motorist who died after a wrong-way motorway
crash was a keen dancer who participated overseas.
Karen Yin Mei Yong's family, who rushed from Kuala Lumpur
after the crash, were at her hospital bedside when life
support was turned off on Saturday night.
The 49-year-old from Mt Wellington was struck head-on by a
31-year-old female driver speeding the wrong way down the
Southern Motorway in Auckland about 12.40am on Friday.
Police are still trying to talk to the woman, who is
seriously injured in hospital.
The Herald can reveal that up to 20 cars narrowly avoided the
driver as she drove for about 5km south in the northbound
lane from the Mount Wellington off-ramp, before colliding
with Ms Yong in the fast lane near the East Tamaki
interchange. She ignored or failed to see "numerous signs
advising drivers: 'wrong way, go back'," Senior Constable
Karl Bevin said.
Police received a number of calls from motorists and were en
route to try to stop the wrong-way driver when the crash
Ms Yong suffered extensive head-to-toe injuries in the smash
and died in Auckland Hospital, he said.
"Her next of kin made emergency plans to travel from Kuala
Lumpur to be at the victim's bedside prior to life support
being turned off. It's a tough pill for the family to swallow
and this was a needless loss of life.
"The family are very close-knit, very quietly spoken. They're
obviously very upset at the loss of their family member in
New Zealand. It's a terrible time in their lives."
Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash and police
had taken a blood sample from the driver, he said.
"We're waiting for her to recover in hospital ... we're
hoping to speak to her soon. She has serious injuries
Ms Yong was part of the east and south Auckland branch of
This year she won first place in the over-45 category of the
Auckland Ceroc Championships with dance partner Derek McEwan.
Close friend Peter Felhofert said Ms Yong's mother and sister
were finalising funeral arrangements.