Minute's silence to remember player

North Otago rugby players from the secondary school grade to the premier Citizens Shield will today observe a one-minute silence before their games in memory of a Kurow player who died after a car crash in the Hakataramea Valley a week ago.

Jarrad Ethan Blackler (23), of Dansey's Pass, is being farewelled this morning after he died from injuries received about 12.15am on Sunday when, along with four other men and one woman, he was thrown out of a Toyota Land Cruiser.

A service is being held for him this morning in the Hall of Memories at Waitaki Boys' High School, where he was a pupil from 2005 to 2009. The family has asked media not to attend.

Union chairman Warren Prescott said yesterday the support the Kurow club had received from all clubs had been nothing short of magnificent.

There would be a minute's silence before all secondary school, President's, women's and Premier games today.''

Our condolences and deepest sympathy goes out to the Blackler family, who have so tragically lost Jarrad,'' Mr Prescott said.''

To everyone who was involved in the accident, their families, the Kurow Rugby Club and those who assisted on the night and continue to help, our hearts go out to you.''

Two matches involving the Kurow club - its Citizens Shield team game against Old Boys and President's grade combined team game against Excelsior - have been cancelled so players and supporters can support the family.

Old Boys had proposed the four points for a win in the Citizens Shield be shared equally and that had been approved unanimously by the North Otago Rugby Union.

The Mackenzie Rugby Club has postponed its games against Old Boys in the South Canterbury senior and senior B competitions to also support the family. Mr Blackler played four seasons for Mackenzie.

Meanwhile, Canterbury police investigations into the crash are continuing.

Earlier this week, police confirmed a 38-year-old male passenger had left hospital. Yesterday, they said the 22-year-old female passenger had also been discharged from hospital.

A 22-year-old male passenger was in a serious but stable condition in Burwood Hospital and a 25-year-old British male passenger was in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital's intensive care unit.

The 39-year-old driver is in a serious but stable condition in Dunedin Hospital.

With stormy weather predicted this weekend, police warned motorists to increase following distances when travelling on wet roads and drive to the conditions.

Posted speed limits were a maximum, not a target.


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