Boy killed in West Coast car crash had never driven before tragedy

Simon Norris had never driven a car before the night that he died.

The 14-year-old was staying at a friend’s place, also a youth, and it was pouring with rain when the pair decided they would go for a late-night drive.

They pushed the car quietly down the driveway and began their journey down Mai Mai Valley Rd near Reefton about 8.35pm on Sunday.

Simon’s father, Ch’e Norris, told the Herald the car was travelling between 40km-60km when it lost control round a corner, causing the vehicle to roll down a bank.

“The friend heard Simon saying ‘I’m going to die, I’m going to die’ and managed to get out of the car and run 8-10km for help.

“But by the time the ambulance came, it was too late.”

Simon had died in the car.

The friend had suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Two police officers, their church minister and a social worker knocked on the Norris’ door about 1.30am and broke the news.

Norris said the pain had really hit them on Monday.

“It’s just really hard. Simon was a great, happy boy. He was a wonderful boy and we are going to miss him.

“He really loved fishing, surfing, he had so many friends. He was looking ahead and was going to go into the Navy or Air Force. He was so loved.”

Simon leaves behind two brothers – aged 10 and 7.

“His brothers absolutely miss him. They’re heartbroken.”

Norris visited Simon’s friend in hospital shortly after the crash.

“He and his mum said it was a total relief. They thought that we were going to blame them for the crash but we said that we didn’t.

“We just gave them a big hug and told them it’s alright because teenagers are teenagers these days.”

Norris said they don’t blame anybody, it was just a tragic accident.

He said as far as they knew, Simon had never driven before.

“That’s one thing I was going to teach him how to do, was to drive when he was 16.

“He always wanted to learn before then and do things you’re meant to be older to do.”

An investigation into the cause of the crash is under way.


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