Ardgowan crash victim remembered as ‘so thoughtful’

Ardgowan Rd was closed until yesterday afternoon, after two people died in a car accident on...
The scene of the crash that claimed two lives on Tuesday night. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE
The man who died in a crash in Oamaru is being remembered as a fourth-generation beekeeper with a heart of gold.

Oamaru residents Grant Robert Rawson (51) and Erin Louise Sheehy (48), known as Erin Ross, died when the ute they were travelling in rolled in Ardgowan Rd, between Homestead and Redcastle Rds on Tuesday night.

They were the only occupants riding in the vehicle.

Mr Rawson’s mother, Noelene Rawson, said her son was brought up in Oamaru, where he attended Waitaki Boys’ High School.

Later, he trained as a panelbeater before becoming a fourth generation beekeeper when he took over the family beekeeping business about a decade ago.

He learned his trade from his father, Bob Rawson.

The younger Mr Rawson also left behind a 16-year-old daughter whom he "absolutely cherished", and his sister.

The death had torn a hole through a happy family.

"You never, ever think you’re going to bury your children," Mrs Rawson said.

She described her son as a quiet fellow who got along with everybody.

"He was so good to us, he was so thoughtful," Mrs Rawson said.

He would cut firewood for his parents and do anything they asked.

When he was younger, he went to Boy Scouts and used to give Mrs Rawson soap he had made, wrapped up with stars on it.

"He was very, very sick as a baby and we just about lost him.

"He went to Dunedin and he had tubes in his back draining his lungs.

"When he went to school and they had swimming, he’d strip off and people would say ‘what’s that big mark on your back?’ and he told every one of them, ‘that’s where I was shot’.

"I was shocked," Mrs Rawson said.

"I just have a laugh and think about that all the time."

Waitaki District Council road safety co-ordinator Jason Evered said the speed limit in Ardgowan Rd was dropped to 60km in 2020 but the crash site was not an area he had known to be an issue.

It is the second fatal crash in Oamaru this year, after a 25-year-old Christchurch man was killed when the car he was in crashed into a fence in Thames Highway, opposite Weaver St, on February 19.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter