Fatal crash devastates community
Posted at 7:07am Tuesday 03 Apr, 2018
Hunters heading into the bush witnessed the aftermath of the crash on the Desert Rd from a distance. It's visible in the top right of the image. CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF
Siamak Mosaferi would watch his eldest son Arteen closely as the boy played on their quiet Hamilton cul-de-sac.
The four-year-old, who first laid eyes on his baby brother earlier this year, was always outside riding his bike and his dad was always there watching him, making sure he never rode past the end of the driveway.
It was a common sight for neighbours on Teatree Close in Huntington, a sight that will never be played out again.
On Good Friday the preschooler with bright brown eyes and a cheeky grin and his only sibling, two-month-old Radeen, were fatally injured when the vehicle they were in collided with another car and two trucks on the Desert Rd near Waiouru.
Arteen died at the scene and Radeen died at Starship Hospital on Sunday from injuries sustained in the crash.
Their mother, Dr Mohadeseh Sharifi, a scientist for AgResearch, is in a critical condition at Waikato Hospital. She does not know that her two babies have died.
Their father suffered moderate injuries in the crash. The family were heading south for Easter Weekend when the crash happened.
And neighbours of the family are reeling from the loss.
One neighbour, Edward Scott, says the last time he saw the tight-knit family was on Thursday.
"My wife saw the family on Wednesday, and then on Thursday we saw them packing up the car for their holiday.
"You never think anything like this would happen."
Scott described the family as private, but saw how much they doted on their children.
"The little boy was always outside riding his bike, but his dad was always there watching him.
"He was very protective of his son and wouldn't allow him to ride in the quiet cul-de-sac alone, only to the end of the driveway.
"The kids were always playing - the young boy would play with my dogs through the back fence."
The family came a long way to this quiet corner at the bottom of the world.
Mosaferi is originally from Bandar-e Anzali in Iran. He and his wife moved to New Zealand after he graduated from Azad University in 2008.
He gained his Master of Engineering Degree from Auckland University in 2013, before he joined Stiles and Hooker Architects + Engineers in 2014.
Director Tony Wade says the family had become an integral part of the company.
"Sia is a hard-working and valuable member of our close-knit family-orientated business.
"[He] is an active participant in office social events and a proud family man.
"The tragic outcome of Friday's accident is a huge shock to the directors and fellow staff, and our hearts go out to Sia, Mohy and the wider family."
AgResearch science group leader Jolon Dyer said fellow scientists are in shock after learning about the crash.
"Dr Mohy Sharifi is an enthusiastic and much-loved member of the team," Dyer says.
"We were shocked to learn what has happened to Mohy, and the terrible loss she has suffered.
"Mohy's colleagues at AgResearch will be doing all they can to support her and her family through this very difficult time."
Back on Teatree Close, Scott's eyes look over the route that Arteen would take on his bike.
"I just don't know how you would cope coming back to the house. All the memories."
The Serious Crash Unit and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team are investigating the cause of the crash.
Six people lost their lives on the nation's roads over the 2018 Easter long weekend.
The toll has surpassed last year's Easter weekend of two. The official holiday period began at 4pm Thursday and ended at 6am Tuesday.