Game's hero's mother killed Car crashes near airport

  BackWilma McCorkindale

The mother of Winter Paralympics gold medallist Adam Hall was killed in a car crash near Dunedin Airport yesterday. It is understood Gayle Hall had just left the airport after seeing her son off on a flight to Wellington to appear on TV One's Breakfast programme.

The 48-year-old midwife’s car left the road and crashed early yesterday morning only a short distance from the airport where only a week ago she welcomed her victorious son home from the Vancouver Games. Adam achieved his gold medal win in the downhill slalom at the Paralympics a month ago.The last memory of Mrs Hall for many at the event will be her waiting patiently, proudly smiling, and clutching a small woven basket of native flowers as the official welcome for Adam unfolded. Police said her car ran off Otakia Rd near the intersection with Maungatua Rd, south of the airport. The cause of the crash had not been established. She was the only occupant of the vehicle.The road was closed for three hours as the serious crash unit investigated. Family friend and spokesman Kevin Davidson said Adam arrived back in Dunedin yesterday afternoon. The family – husband Lindsay, Adam and daughter Mikaeyla – were still coming to terms with the loss of a much-loved wife and mother, he said. Further statements would be made once the family had had time to deal with their loss, Mr Davidson said. Paralympics New Zealand chief executive officer Fiona Pickering said last night she had contacted Adam and he was “handling it very well”.

“He is with his family at the moment and they are all providing support.”

Paralympics New Zealand was “shocked and saddened” at the news, Mrs Pickering said.

“We see the Halls very much as being part of the family. It’s devastated us all. We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends.” A Wanaka woman who met Mrs Hall when she stepped in to be her midwife a month ago said she was a lovely woman.

The woman said she remembered Mrs Hall as being excited about heading overseas with Adam.“She even talked about one day moving to Wanaka permanently so she could spend more time with her son,” she said.

©2010 Southland Times Reproduced courtesy of the Southland Times.