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Coroner ruling on crash deaths

The coroner who is investigating the deaths of a woman and her two children in the recent vehicle crash tragedy near Te Araroa has indicated it appears to have been self-inflicted.

Ashton-Lee Rangihuna, 14. Ana-Roimata Rangihuna, 10, and their mother Tiny Tibble, 43, died in a crash on the East Cape 10 days ago.

Rotorua coroner Heidi Wrigley has indicated that the deaths “appear to have been self-inflicted”.

A coronial services spokesperson said Coroner Wrigley continued to investigate the cause and circumstances of the deaths.

“Section 71 of the Coroners Act 2006 applies,” the spokesperson said.

The section refers to restrictions being imposed on “making public details of self-inflicted deaths”.

The mother and her two children died a month after their father, Lance Rangihuna, also died in a crash.

Mr Rangihuna's brother, Wimaki Rangihuna earlier told the New Zealand Herald he was devastated his whanau had been “wiped out”.

Wimaki, who lives in Auckland, said he now wanted to remember his nephew for all of their deer hunting, and diving for paua and crayfish they used to do together.

“Ashton was into his hunting, diving, fishing. He was a tall, strapping young lad about six foot three (1.9m). He's a big boy.

“The night before his father's funeral he went hunting, the next morning we got up there was a venison hanging.

“The young fella and his sister Ana were both gentle souls.”

He said his brother and Tiny were a “great couple” and had recently purchased a lawn-mowing business.

“They were fantastic parents and raised awesome kids.”

The tragedy has rocked the East Cape community.

Police and Victim Support said the tragedy had caused a huge amount of grief for the family and the whole community.

The mother and her children were farewelled in a funeral service last Saturday.

— NZ Herald