A Carterton couple who lost a son in a horrific car crash in Greytown eight years ago have been dealt a second blow with the unexpected death of his older brother on Monday.
Darren Fryer, 44, the son of Jenny and Gary Fryer and husband of Debbie (nee Collie), collapsed and died while playing Futsal, a form of indoor soccer, at Makoura College.
He had been playing in goal when he collapsed, and he died despite an hour-long attempt to revive him.
Darren’s brother Lance was killed when a car driven by recidivist drink-driver Gavin Hawthorn careered at high speed into a power pole on Greytown’s Main St in June, 2003.
Lance Fryer was a front seat passenger and died soon after being cut free of the wreck.
Hawthorn – who has one of the worse criminal records for drunk and disqualified driving of anyone in New Zealand – is still serving a jail sentence in relation to the death of Lance Fryer. He was denied parole at his last scheduled appearance before the Parole Board, partly because of his declared intention not to appear before, or co-operate with, the board.
Darren Fryer was a soccer devotee and earned a reputation, especially in Carterton, as a first class fundraiser, coach and manager who would help out in any situation.
He also had a high-profile job, in charge of sports fields for Recreational Services Ltd, contractors to Masterton District Council.
His wife Debbie said Darren would be farewelled at a funeral service at St Mark’s Church in Carterton on Friday, the same church the couple were married in 23 years ago.
“We both went to Kuranui College and started going together in the fourth form,” she said.
“We split up for three years and had other boyfriends and girlfriends, but got back together and got married.”
Debbie and Darren have two children Josh, 13, and Jessie, 11.
The couple had been heavily involved in organising Carterton School’s 150th jubilee to be held at Easter.
For Darren’s shattered parents, his death robs them of both sons, leaving behind Sandy, Darren’s half-sister who lives in Rotorua.
Mrs Fryer said Lance and Darren were “chalk and cheese” but rubbed along well enough and had a shared love of the outdoors and farming.
Darren was born with a heart murmur that had been picked up when he was just under a year old. He was fitted with a stainless steel heart valve when he was 18.
Debbie said he had kept regular medical appointments and his death had come as a great shock.
She described her husband and his brother as both being “lovable”.
“Darren really loved playing Futsal and he put a lot into soccer generally. He will be sadly missed in Carterton.”