Twist in horror car crash that saw a mother killed alongside her two children weeks after their father died slamming into the same tree – as the coroner rules it a murder-suicide
- A mother and her two kids died when their car crashed into a tree last week
- The children’s father was killed when his car hit the same tree just weeks earlier
- The coroner made an interim ruling the couple’s deaths were self-inflicted
- Ms Tibble left a note to her brother asking that she and her kids be cremated
The death of a woman and her two children in a horror car crash is being treated as a suspected murder-suicide.
Tiny Tibble, 43, her son Ashton-Lee Rangihuna, 14, and daughter Ana-Roimata Rangihuna, 10, died on November 16 after their car crashed into a tree near the small settlement of Te Araroa in New Zealand.
The devastating smash happened just weeks after Ms Tibble’s partner Lance Rangihuna died after his car hit the same tree, also in a suspected suicide.
Tiny Tibble, 43, her son Ashton-Lee Rangihuna, 14, and daughter Ana-Roimata Rangihuna, 10, died on on Monday morning after their car crashed into a tree near the small settlement of Te Araroa, New Zealand
Coroner Heidi Wrigley made an interim ruling the couple’s deaths were self-inflicted. She is continuing to investigate.
Mr Rangihuna was facing a historical sex charge at the time of his death, Stuff reported.
On the day she died, Ms Tibble left behind a note to her brother John Morice asking that she and her kids be cremated and placed alongside Mr Rangihuna at a family burial site.
Mr Morice told Stuff that his sister had been living with him for a few weeks after Mr Rangihuna died, however he didn’t suspect she was suicidal or depressed.
Police said the case would be a ‘unique challenge’ to solve given there were no survivors of the crash.
‘This involves examining a range of possible contributing factors including environmental, the vehicle, and the people involved through avenues like witness and family statements,’ police said in a statement.
‘Police findings help advise the coroner, who will make ultimate determination on cause of death for all involved.
‘Police acknowledge the significant impact this crash has had on the local community.’
Since 2004, 16 Kiwi children have been killed by a parent who then killed themselves. Of those, nine were killed by their mother and seven by their father.
Family and friends in the small rural community on the country’s North Island have been left shocked by the deaths.
Mr Rangihuna’s cousin Hamiora Huriwai said the deaths were hard to process as the family seemed to be doing well.
The devastating smash happened just weeks after Ms Tibble’s partner Lance Rangihuna died after his car hit the same tree, also in a suspected suicide
‘They were strong, they got on with life, they were going to keep going… We had a barbecue together [after the death] with her kids. They were all fine – big smiles, happy. We had lambs’ tails, gave hugs like we normally do – it was all good,’ he said.
He said the children’s deaths are the most devastating.
‘It’s really tragic because they still hadn’t lived their own lives. Everyone is taking it hard. We’re all grieving.’
Detective Sergeant Eric Hunter said the community had been left shaken by the incidents.
Victim Support and other partner agencies are working with the community.
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