Family day out four-wheel driving turns to tragedy in Amberley

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 06, 2022 |

Source: Givealitte page

A family day out turned to tragedy in Amberley after a 7-year-old boy lost his life following a four-wheel driving adventure.

Christchurch boy Jurael Tutere Paul Jeffrey Bennett died when the vehicle he was in became stuck in the Waipara River off Double Corner Rd around 5.35pm on Sunday.

Jurael had been four-wheel driving with his mum and her partner. A police spokesperson said Jurael died at the scene.

Jurael was a much-loved member of Elite Fight Complex in Phillipstown.

Gym owner Tim McIlroy said the family was out four-wheel driving when the tragic event unfolded.

“They’d already done a river crossing and had driven up Waipara riverbed, along with other vehicles.

Source: Givealitte

“Then they came back to that spot, hours later, when it was time to leave just as it was starting to get dark, and as they were crossing back along the river, the front wheel dropped into a ditch and the vehicle tipped a wee bit, and with the current pushing it, it pretty much tipped it over.”

Mcilroy said “when the vehicle dipped into the hole, his mum and her partner grabbed Jurael out of his car seat, but as they were doing that, the vehicle tipped over with water coming up to the wing mirrors.”

“It was quite a violent tip I’ve been told.”

“Other drivers came to help and managed to resuscitate the boy on the side of the river, but he was still pretty much unconscious.”

An ambulance and helicopter arrived on the scene and paramedics resuscitated him again, and just as they were about to fly to the hospital they lost him again.

Source: Givealittle

Mcilroy said Jurael and his mum were members of the gym. “It’s a horrible situation.”

“They’re more than just club members, they’re friends.”

He said Jurael’s mum has been trying to cope by talking about Jurael’s future plans.

“Her partner has not been doing well. He looks like a zombie and looks white as a ghost. He’s blaming himself. There will be so many emotions going through the household. It’s going to be very hard.”

“The driver works on a farm and has been four-wheel driving all his life.”

A Givealittle page has been set up to help the family and has so far reached over $5000 in donations.

Mcilroy said they were considering holding the funeral at the gym, a place where Jurael loved being a part of.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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