Trent Haywood. Photo: NZ Herald/Alick Saunders
A Tauranga teenager killed at a motocross event in the
South Island has been described as a fearless up-and-coming
champ with an "infectious personality".
Tauranga Boys' College student Trent Haywood (14) died while
competing in the Michael Godfrey MX Memorial in Omihi, near
Waipara yesterday morning.
Police said the teen came off his bike on a 30m jump and
suffered serious head injuries just before 11am.
Officers were unable to say what caused the crash; however,
witnesses yesterday raised concerns about the size and shape
of the jump, saying they thought it was dangerous.
About 100 spectators and racers, including Trent's father and
friends, witnessed the crash. Paramedics revived the boy
briefly at the scene before he died.
A friend of the Haywood family, who asked not to be
identified, said Trent "had a lot of potential" and was on
track to becoming a successful rider.
"He has been riding since he was just a little guy, about 4
or 5," he said.
"And he is just awesome, he loves it, motocross is his
"He has had a lot of success regionally and was starting to
enjoy the rewards of hard work.
"This is just tragic. He was far too young but I can't help
thinking he was doing what he loved and that is a lesson for
all of us in life. Spend your time doing something you are
Another friend of the family said Trent's personality and
passion were "infectious".
"You couldn't help but smile when he was around and going on
about motocross," she said.
"He was really positive, really fun and this is a huge
tragedy for the family and his motocross family. We are all
in shock. He is going to be sorely missed."
The event was cancelled after Trent died and the teen was
later named a champion, coming first equal with another rider
due to his points tally.
Nikki Shelley, secretary of Christchurch Offroad Motorcycle
Club, which ran the event declined to comment yesterday "out
of respect for the family".
The motocross community was yesterday in shock, with hundreds
of people posting on Trent's Facebook page saying they could
not believe he was gone.
"R.I.P bro still can't believe that you are gone. Such a good
friend and had some good times with you. Ride in peace," one
Videos of the talented young rider were shared, along with
memories of his recent wins, including the recent MotoX in
the Maize competition, where he took home the top competitive
The teen was also one of four taking part in the Team Moto
City Bel-Ray Junior Development team and had several
Sergeant Rob Irvine, of Kaiapoi police, said Trent's death
was believed to be the first in the event's 35-year history.
The weather was fine and the track was largely dry, he said.
Police and health and safety officers are investigating.