The family of the 11-year-old girl who died after a bus rolled while travelling down from Mt Ruapehu’s Tūroa ski field on Saturday have released a touching tribute to her.
The NZ Herald reports that Hannah Francis’ Mother Michelle Bruton and father Matt Francis said their family is still trying to come to terms with the devastating loss of “our beautiful daughter”.
“She was the light of our lives and will be missed by all who knew her,” Ms Bruton said in a statement.
“Hannah was an empathetic, kind-hearted, beautiful child who wouldn’t hurt a fly. She was loved by everyone she met and left a lasting impression.
“Her sister Charlotte and stepbrothers Josh and Caleb all loved her dearly and will be lost without her.
“She loved animals, especially her cats and she would do anything to help you.
“Our hearts are broken and will never be the same. Fly free our beautiful angel. May you rest in peace.”
The bus carrying 31 passengers crashed while travelling down Ohakune Mountain Road from the Tūroa skifield around 2.30pm on Saturday, injuring a number of passengers and claiming Hannah’s life.
Glen Eden Intermediate Principal Maree Stavert has addressed a message to parents and caregivers, saying yesterday the school received the sad news that one of its students had passed away as a result of the injuries she sustained in the bus accident.
Ms Stewart said Hannah was a Year 7 student and will be sadly missed by her friends, classmates and teachers.
“We are sure you all join us in expressing our heartfelt condolences to Hannah’s family at this extremely difficult time,” she wrote.