Memorials at schools of crash victims

Memorials for two 12-year-old girls killed in a crash at Rakaia at the weekend have been inundated with well-wishers and messages of love and support.

Abigail Hone, her friend Ella Summerfield and Ella's mother Sally, 49, died in the crash at Rakaia, 67km southwest of Christchurch, on Saturday.

Gillian Simpson, principal of St Margaret's College, which Ella attended, said today that students had been constantly signing the book set up in the school chapel, and it would be given to the Summerfield family.

"It's an amazing community that have rallied together, and amazing to watch the senior girls caring for the younger ones.

"It has hit us hard, but it's hit the Year Sevens and Year Eights the hardest. Ella made friends really easily. She was so kind, happy, a really positive person.

"She was an absolute allrounder. She gained distinction for piano, she was netballer of the year and did athletics and triathlon. She obviously had a huge future ahead of her with sport.

"But everyone remembers her for her smile. She had a fantastic smile."

Paul Wilkinson, acting principal at Sumner School, where Ella and Abi were former students, said a memorial by a tree had been set up for friends and loved ones to leave flowers and messages.

"There have been lots of people constantly visiting the tree," he said.

Hone family spokesman Darren Wright said the families' focus was slowly turning to funeral arrangements.

"We're working through that process now."

Mrs Summerfield's husband Shane, who was driving, was injured in the crash. He is still in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital.

Dutch tourist Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, has been charged over the crash and appeared in court yesterday.

- By Derek Cheng of APNZ

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