West Otago community in shock at teen's death

Lindy Cavanagh-Monaghan. Photo: Blue Mountain College
Lindy Cavanagh-Monaghan. Photo: Blue Mountain College

Seventeen-year-old Jamie Shearing was destined for big things and most probably would have owned his own business, according to his former principal.

Police yesterday named Mr Shearing as the teenager who was struck by a vehicle and killed near Gore about 12.30am on Tuesday morning.

Mr Shearing was walking on the Waimea Highway when the collision occurred.

He lived at Conical Hill and his shock death has rocked the West Otago region where Mr Shearing was loved by many.

He attended Blue Mountain College from year 7 through to year 11.

He decided to leave school at the end of 2017, aged 16, and join the workforce.

Blue Mountain College principal Lindy Cavanagh-Monaghan said yesterday Mr Shearing was popular within the community and the news of his death has had a big effect on both the high school’s pupils and the staff who taught him.

It had been tricky trying to provide the right support, given it had happened in the school holidays, she said.

"The kids are very close, and he was still close with a lot of them," she said.

Mrs Cavanagh-Monaghan said the community was rallying around the family to provide whatever support it could.

While he had left school at a young age, Mr Shearing had been successful academically while at Blue Mountain College and was more mature than his age suggested, Mrs Cavanagh-Monaghan said.

"He was a lovely kid.

"I would have been proud to call him my son," she said.

"He has always been very good mechanically. From a young age he was fixing his friends’ bikes. He was a real problem solver.

"We talked about [him leaving school], I had no problem with it. He had a lot of job offers.

"I thought he would end up owning his own business and the sooner he got on to that path, the sooner he would get there.

"I knew he would succeed in whatever he did in life, the world was his oyster. Unfortunately that now has been cut short. It is hard to describe the loss in words."

Police are still calling for anyone who might have seen Mr Shearing walking along Waimea Valley Rd between 7pm on January 1 and 12.30am on January 2.

Witnesses are urged to call Gore police on (03) 203-9323.


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