Up to 1000 mourners, including school children, are
expected to attend crash victim Abi Hone's funeral at her old
primary school on Monday.
Abi, 12, was killed along with her best friend Ella
Summerfield, also 12, and Ella's mum Sally, 49, after a Dutch
tourist allegedly ran a stop sign in rural Canterbury last
Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, has been charged with careless
driving causing death in relation to the incident.
Mrs Summerfield's husband Shane, who was driving, is
recovering in Christchurch Hospital.
He is awake and talking but overwhelmed with grief, a family
Darren Wright, Hone family spokesman, said Abi's funeral
would be held at the Sumner School hall at 2pm on Monday.
Media have been asked to keep their distance. But a large
turnout from the tight-knit seaside, and earthquake-battered
community, is expected.
The school hall has a 650-person capacity but a large marquee
has been erected to cater for the overspill.
At lunchtime on Monday, students will be given the option of
either staying on to continue their learning, go home, or
attend the funeral.
"It's completely up to them," Mr Wright said.
"The family wants to get as much support as they can."
Both Abi and Ella attended the school, with both families
being integral in fundraising to erect the school hall.
Some of Abi's year 8 Rangi Ruru Girls' School classmates are
also expected to attend.
A large oak tree in the central playground has become a focal
point for the grieving community, its trunk covered with
cards, origami cranes, flowers, and balloons.
Abi's parents Lucy and Trevor are too distraught to speak to
"They are busy planning their daughter's funeral which was
not something that they had thought they would be doing,"
said Mr Wright.
Friends and family are starting to arrive from all over New
Zealand, and the world, including England and France, he
The support from them, and the wider community, is giving
them a "huge amount of strength".
"There are a lot of people hurting over this," Mr Wright
"It seems to have very much impacted people across Canterbury
and New Zealand."
The Summerfield family are taking the double loss "pretty
bloody tough", said Wyn Mossman, Mr Summerfield's business
partner and family spokesman.
They released a short statement last night which simply said:
"We would like to thank the public, particularly the Sumner
community, for all their love and support during this
"We now request privacy to allow us to grieve for our family
"This is the only public statement we have made or will be
APNZ understands Appelman has not yet been in touch with the
Hones or the Summerfields.
He has also not contacted the Dutch Embassy.
"We are closely following the case, of course, but it's up to
the suspect to approach the Embassy," said spokesman Stefan
"I have reasons to believe he might contact us in the next
Appelman, on bail in the city, will reappear at Christchurch
District Court on July 10.
- By Kurt Bayer of APNZ