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Tragic crash claims young life

Monday 8 March 2010 | Published in Regional

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Popular local television news presenter Tamarii Pierre was tragically killed on Saturday morning when the vehicle he was a back seat passenger in, crashed into a power pole at Blackrock.

The 19-year-old was with two male friends in a black Nissan Torano heading towards Arorangi when the driver of the Nissan Terano lost control on the Blackrock bend and the vehicle crashed into a power pole.

Pierre died at the scene of the accident while the front seat passenger and driver of the vehicle were taken to Rarotonga hospital in private vehicles.

The pair were treated for minor and severe injuries

Police received a report of the accident at 2.59am on Saturday from a passing motorist and believe the accident occurred around 15 minutes before being reported.

Inspector Tere Patia says Pierre was an innocent victim in the crash and believes that speed and alcohol were the contributing factors to the accident.

Patia adds that at this stage, the 18-year-old driver of the vehicle is likely to be charged with drink driving causing death.

Police commissioner Maara Tetava says that Pierre’s death is a sad and tragic lesson in what happens when people drink and drive and speed.

Pierre, the son of Tamarii and Ipu Pierre Tutangata, was much adored member of the Pitt Media Group staff and an accomplished cultural dancer.

Recently, Pierre made Cook Islands broadcasting history when he conducted the very first live cross from the police station reporting on the developing cyclone in the northern group islands with equipment donated by TVNZ and presented by Barbara Dreaver.

Dreaver retells the moment Pierre achieved the milestone in local broadcasting below.

Cook Islands police and Cook Islands News extend condolences and sympathy to the Pierre Tutangata family and Pitt Media Group.