Nita Cundy

Nita Blanche Cundy – Accidentally Killed

Nita and her friends had gone to Paekakariki by train from Wellington on a Friday in April 1926. When they were unable to find accommodation at the hotel, and realising there was no train back to Wellington, they enquired at the garage about hiring a car to take them further north. Mr Archibald McArthur and his brother Donald of Lower Hutt on hearing that the girls needed a lift offered to take them in their car which was undergoing some repairs before heading onwards to Patea. They accepted and started their journey at 9:15pm.

Part of the route near Waikanae was under repair and this was where the accident happened. Passing the ‘lighted lanterns’ the car turned to its right side but something had been left unlighted and the car got into difficulties, went over a bank and capsized.

The car was travelling so slowly that two of the occupants were able to step out. Two received minor injuries and the driver briefly hospitalised. Nita was unhurt but died of heart failure. Her friend Marie Willis stated at the inquest that Nita ‘has always been very nervous of motor cars’.

A verdict of ‘accidentally killed’ was the returned at the inquest and that ‘the neglect to provide proper safeguard and light is the cause of the above accident’.

An action was bought against the council for ‘alleged neglect’. Evidence was given and the case was dismissed.

Nita was born in Featherston in 1880. Her parents were Charles (a blacksmith) and his wife Caroline. She had two brothers – Archibald who she was staying with at the time of her death, and Clifford who is the second burial in this plot.

Plot: *Public 2/J/534

By Julia Kennedy

Cundy plot
Cundy plot

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