Bright lights of Tamararo 'dimmed'

updated By Taroi Black

Te Tairāwhiti region mourns the loss of Erica Jones, a young kapa haka singer, who died in a car accident at age 26.

Police have confirmed the incident involved a car and a logging truck on State Highway 35 at Makorori, near Gisborne yesterday morning.  

This is now the third fatal accident involving a logging truck, in the same area, since mid-June.

Family spokesperson Mātai Rangi Smith told Te Kāea, Jones will be returned to her family home tonight by members of Te Kapa Haka o Whāngara Mai Tawhiti.

Jones was renowned for her leadership on the kapa haka stage at competition level, performing for Te Kura ō Manutuke in the Primary National Kapa Haka festival in Hopuhopu 2003 and Rotorua 2004.

In 2008 she gained more public interest on social media performing a duet with Gisborne Boys/Girls High School at the Secondary National Kapa Haka competition in Wellington.  

Smith took to Facebook saying, "The bright lights of Tamararo and Te Matatini stage have now been somewhat dimmed and we are all left truly bereft because of your far too early and untimely departure Erica."

People have also shared their condolences to Erica and her family on Facebook including East Coast MP Kiri Allan.

Jones will lay at her family home tonight and her iwi of Rongowhakāta will welcome their jewel home where she will be taken to her final resting place on Thursday.