New Zealand First Lady Catherine Cullen was among the first to congratulate her husband, John Cullum, and said it was just “an accident” he died.
New Zealand First lady Catherine Cullen, left, and husband John Cullums at the wedding of their second daughter in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 28, 2019.
Cullum died after he and his wife were hit by a car at about 3:45pm on Sunday, April 29, 2019, while driving home from their home in Christchurch.
Auckland Police and the Crown Legal Service are investigating the death as a murder.
After Cullen’s death, New Zealander John Cullump had said he was “devastated”.
“It was an accident,” he told Radio New Zealand.
I just hope they find out what the circumstances were, I don’t know what happened to my wife.”
Cullump said he felt “the need to take a few steps forward” and apologised for his wife’s death.
“I know there are many people who are grieving over this and they want to understand the circumstances that led to this,” he said.
Police said on Sunday they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.
The incident occurred at the intersection of Tauranga Street and Tauraki Street, just before 3:30pm on Saturday.
In a statement on Sunday morning, New York City Police said they were aware of the accident and were working with the New Zealand Fire Service and the Auckland Police Service to establish the cause of the crash, which occurred near the intersection with the Tauraniya Street exit.
It said the investigation would involve the public and the media.
Chief Superintendent Robert Poh, of the Auckland Metropolitan Police, said the crash appeared to be a “road rage incident”.
Poh said it appeared the vehicle that was involved was travelling north on Tauraunau Street, when it hit the pedestrians.
He said the vehicle driver was not in the car at the time and was not involved in any other collisions in the area.
“We are aware that a number of pedestrians have been seriously injured in the accident.
We are working with New Zealand Police to establish what happened, who was in the vehicle and how the collision occurred,” he added.
Pohl said police had identified a woman in her 30s from the vicinity of the collision and were continuing to speak to her.
‘There’s so many people out there that want answers’New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the deaths of her husband and her daughters would be felt throughout New Zealand for years to come.
“There’s a lot of grief, there’s so much loss and anger,” she said.
“There’s no words that I can give that will make up for all the pain and the hurt and sadness that’s going through our hearts and our minds.”
New Zealand’s Chief Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the case would be investigated by the coroner.
There were three pedestrians involved in the crash but none of them were seriously injured.
At least two people, a man and a woman, were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
On Monday morning, the coronial inquest into Cullen’s killing is scheduled to begin.
Ardern thanked the people of Auckland for their outpouring of grief.
I think it’s really important that we keep moving forward and continue to get the answers and to continue to support the police and the people that work for us,” she told reporters.
She said the Prime Minister had said “there’s so a lot to be gained” from the inquest, adding she hoped Cullen’s daughters would receive the same support.”
The young women will be able to live life to the fullest and the children will be a better place,” she added.