Community thanked in wake of tragedy

Tourism Bay of Plenty is thanking the community for their support in the wake of last week’s fatal crash involving an American tourist. File photo.

Following last week's tragic accident on Dive Crescent resulting in the death of a 71-year-old American citizen, Tourism Bay of Plenty is thanking the industry and community for their support.

Bay of Plenty CEO Kristin Dunne says it's heartening to see people rallying together.

“All we had to do was pick up the phone and aid from a number of different avenues became available in an instant.

“This is what makes Tauranga a great place to live. My observation is our locals welcome visitors as if they're friends, which is why we are all deeply saddened when an incident as rare and distressing as this occurs.”

Special thanks was given to Tauranga City Council Mayor Greg Brownless and CEO Garry Poole, Tauranga Police, Victim Support and the local hotels that opened their doors to accommodate.

“Losing a loved one in another country is deeply distressing, and I have personally been in frequent contact with the victim's husband. He is a private person and we have, and will, continue to respect his privacy.

“The victim's husband returned home on Saturday and while he was understandably shocked, he expressed his gratitude at the level of support and care he received while in our city. He was particularly concerned about others, and wishes everyone involved to be reassured this was an accident and he felt no-one was to blame.”

Kristin says there has also been enormous support for Freewheeling Tours.

The team are reportedly deeply shocked and saddened at what happened, and are currently supporting their staff and families with counselling.

“Following the accident, Freewheeling Tours has commenced their Worksafe investigation and are continuing to assist the police with their on-going investigations.

“Every indication shows Freewheeling Tours followed their health and safety procedures, and this was a tragic accident.”

Tourism Bay of Plenty is continuing to take every necessary measure to assist the police and authorities with their investigations.


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