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Cathy Turner

There’s not a day that passes that Cathy Turner doesn’t miss her son Michael.

Michael was only 15 years old when he was hit by a train and killed while walking to school in 2003. “We still don’t know exactly what happened but I know that Michael was a very careful boy,” Cathy says. 

“We can only assume that he was distracted for just an instant – one moment of inattention that cost him his life.” Michael suffered critical head injuries in the accident, and his mother had to turn off his life support the day after the accident. 

“That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” says Cathy. 

“The emotional pain of that time is etched in my memory and I will live with the grief of losing Michael for the rest of my life.”

Several years after Michael’s death, electronic gates were installed at the site where he died.

Since then Cathy has continued to successfully campaign for safety improvements to pedestrian level crossings around New Zealand. 


Automatic pedestrian gates have now been installed at some crossings in Auckland and Wellington.


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  • Nicole Vreugdenhil “It's amazing I survived at all”
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Keeping safe


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Latest news

Heavy vehicle safety research launched

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Four serious collisions between heavy vehicles and trains in three months have highlighted a worrying trend, according to rail safety charity TrackSAFE NZ, which is launching a research project to help improve safety for heavy vehicle drivers around railway level crossings.   Read more

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