Church overflows as mourners farewell student killed in mystery car crash

    About 1000 people packed into a Central Auckland church yesterday (August 24) to farewell Waikato University student Keleiola Pifeleti who was allegedly killed in a car accident in Trafalgar St in Onehunga on August 17.

    Police have no record of an accident and a spokeswoman from the Wellington Police call centre said the accident may not have been reported to Police. A search of the New Zealand Police website found no record of an alleged accident.

    However, family members and friends of the deceased who did not want to be named told Kaniva News Ms Pifeleti was a passenger in a car that crashed on Trafalgar St in Onehunga. She died in hospital on August 20 after fighting for her life for three days.

    They believed Police did not have any record of the accident because she did not die at the scene and that no one reported the accident to them.

    There were too many mourners to fit into the church. Those who came to pay tribute to the 19 year-old sister, friend and school mate, included community leaders and many young people.

    At least 40 of the mourners at the church yesterday were schoolmates of Ms Pifeleti when she was a student at Marists College. Also attending in school uniform schoolmates of hers youngest brother from Mt Roskill Grammar School.

    The church’s youth group, Lātaki, wore tauangaʻa (black clothes and taʻovala) and t-shirts with Keleiola’s name and photo on them.

    Her mother, Fiesola Pīfeleti, broke down and fell to her knee at the Waikaraka cemetary in Onehunga where Keleiola was buried.

    She appears to have been overwhelmed by emotion while her daughter’s coffin was lowered into the grave.

    Ms Pifeleti’s father, ‘Akeiti Pifeleti, died in an accident in 2000.

    Tearful tributes were made in English and Tongan on Facebook. Keleiola was described as an inspiration and compassionate.

    Her cousin, Karina Angela Lavakeiaho Filitonga, wrote: “I promise you this is not the end sis, All im asking is please do visit me in my dreams, i will see you soon eh. Tala atu eku ofa (Send my love) to Dad and the rest of our loved ones up there. I couldn’t bare the fact that aunty Sola was such in so much pain, you left with no explanation sis frown emoticon. Iaueeeeeeeeeh (Keleiola  I love yooou till the day I take my last breath.

    “When they lay you down to your grave it hit me so hard that I cried so hard, seeing hundreds of people showed up made me realised how important you are to them and how much you meant to them, Staying up Sunday night just stairing [sic] at you was worth it, I love you endlessly sis, no words can explain how still hurt i am”.

    Keli Peau wrote: “Today the Lord needed you more than we did.  I will always be thinking of you, my love and my prayers go out to your family and your friends. You will always have a special place in my heart Keleiola. Thank you for getting me through Marist. You played such a huge role in so many people’s lives and I am beyond grateful that you were a part of mine. We have so many memories together, ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I love you unconditionally and I will forever be missing you. Rest in peace my beautiful”.

    “Thoughts and prayers going out to the Pifeleti family as they farewell another angel. Rest in peace keleiola xx im sure your dad will be delighted to have you home. ‪#‎gonesosoon”

    The main points

    • About 1000 people packed into a Central Auckland church yesterday (August 24) to farewell Waikato University student Keleiola Pifeleti who was allegedly killed in a car accident in Trafalgar Rd in Onehunga on August 17.
    • Police have no record of an accident. A spokeswoman from the Wellington Police call centre said the accident may not have been reported to Police.
    • However, family members and friends of the deceased who did not want to be named told Kaniva News Ms Pifeleti was a passenger in a car that crashed on Trafalgar St in Onehunga.
    • She died in hospital on Thursday 20.

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