Family and friends of an Aitutaki man, who died in a road crash on Friday night, are still trying to come to terms with the loss.
Ngateinakore (Ina) Katu, 35, died after the motorcycle he was driving crashed into a party bus.
Efforts were made to revive him at the scene but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Now efforts are being made to bring his three children to the Cook Islands for his funeral this week.
Charlotte Piho, who is a close friend of the deceased, is asking people to drop donations at Reefside Rarotonga today to support the cause.
Piho said the deceased spoke proudly of his children based in Australia and was saving to go and visit them or bring them over.
“The one thing that he would have wanted was to have them at his funeral. Please help by donating anything to help his family with this,” Piho said.
“Ina touched so many of our hearts, uplifted all those that had the privilege to know him.
He spoke badly about no one and taught us all how to be better people.
He was one of the kindest, smartest, best watermen and human I ever met. His death is a major loss and shock to us all.”
Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said the fatality occurred on the main road at Taputapuatea late Friday night.
Pitt said the man died as a result of the injuries he sustained when the motorcycle crashed into a party bus.
Police were called about the crash at 11.16pm.
The party bus belongs to Rehab Night Club.
Last night club owner Scott Arlander said the management and staff were still in shock and deeply saddened by the passing away of a local resident as a result of the unfortunate accident.
Arlander said their five staff members and guests who were involved have been greatly traumatised by this ordeal.
“At the same time, they also assisted police with their investigation on the night and the following day,” Arlander said.
“We are thankful to the overseas student nurses and doctors who were on the tour and administered first aid to the driver of the motorbike.
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and loved ones at this difficult time.
We share in your loss and pray that in the midst of your sorrow you are able to find comfort.”
Arlander said they have been operating for over six years and this was the first time the party bus has been involved in any sort of accident.
“We have worked hard to ensure safety standards are at a high level for our customers and the general public at large.
Our drivers and staff are well trained and we have been in compliance with the Transport Authority and conditions imposed on us by law.
“The Rehab bus tour was created to provide a safe way for our locals and visitors to enjoy Rarotonga’s nightlife.
As nightclub owners we are constantly aware and urge our patrons to not drink and drive and to use safe alternatives like our bus.”
Meanwhile Trevor Pitt said the police conducted crash forensics at the scene on Saturday and were awaiting a medical report.