- The incident occurred during the race north of Auckland.
- Tributes flow for both drivers.
- Teenager remembered for ‘leaving his mark’ in sports
A teenage racer and his co-driver were tragically killed during the Arcadia Road Rallysprint in New Zealand on Sunday.
Brooklyn Horan, 15, and Tyson Jemmett, 35, were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services after their vehicle left the gravel road and crashed into a swollen river around 2 p.m. local.
Horan was driving the vehicle when the incident occurred in Paparoa at an event held by the Hibiscus Coast Motorsport Club.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of these two competitors and everyone involved in the Arcadia Road Rallysprint,” said Motorsport New Zealand president Wayne Christie.
“It is understandable that the entire motorsport community is shocked and upset by this terrible tragedy. In the coming days we will offer support to all those involved.”
Brooklyn Horan was only 15 years old but was already making a big name for himself in New Zealand rally driving.
Tyson Jemmett has been remembered as a loving family man and member of the New Zealand racing community.
Hayden Paddon, the first New Zealander to win a World Rally Championship stage, said he was left speechless after hearing about the double fatal crash.
‘First and foremost, my deepest thoughts and wishes are with Raana, Lynnaire, Lucy and all the families involved during this tragic time. The entire motorsport community is with you,” Paddon said in a social media post.
“Hearing about Brooklyn and Tyson’s accident yesterday is paralyzing,” he said.
“Brooklyn, for someone so young, with so much talent and a great future in the sport I’m sure would have gone all the way.
You were the future of our sport, but also one of the kindest and most humble young people I have ever met. Your career may have just begun but you had already made your mark.
‘Tyson, you were one of the true rally enthusiasts. I remember you in [World Rally Championship] events throughout 2017 and 2018 waving the New Zealand flag and supporting us through thick and thin, always promoting the sport of rallying in the media.
‘A great businessman, athlete and family man. Thinking of your wife and family right now.
Tributes flowed online for Horan and Jemmett, who is survived by his wife Lucy. The couple worked together in media company Things.
“This devastating loss is being felt across our Stuff whānau (family) today,” said Stuff chief executive Laura Maxwell.
“There are no words that can convey the tragedy of losing someone like Tyson in a situation like this, at such a young age, and express the love we all feel for his family at this time.”
Jemmett’s family released a statement saying he was a “loving husband” to Lucy, beloved son to Ian and Pat, brother to Kahlia and beloved son-in-law to Caroline and Glenn.
A very promising junior, Horan showed his talents in several racing disciplines, particularly participating in this season’s Toyota 86 Championship.
His father, Raana, is also an accomplished racing driver primarily focused on rally driving.
Horan’s involvement in rally events was through the family-run Big Black Motorsport team, while collaborating with Mackenzie Motorsport for the Toyota 86 series.
“Gone too soon,” wrote Mackenzie Motorsport.
‘Brooklyn was a great kid and a real talent. We will miss him a lot within the team, he will leave a big void with his big smile and his extravagant driving style. “Our thoughts are with everyone at this difficult time.”
Racer Products also posted its condolences to the drivers on Facebook.
‘Our thoughts are with Horan’s friends and whānau at this time. He was a great guy to deal with. “His future was bright and he will be missed,” the post said.
As the incident occurred while the road was closed, WorkSafe and MotorSport NZ will carry out investigations into the incident.
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