RIP Stace Hopper
It is with great sadness that we report that Stace Hopper died in an aircraft crash in Northland late yesterday, Friday 12 March.
Stace, 27, died when the light plane he was flying crashed in a paddock about 3.55pm at One Tree Pt, 6km northwest of Marsden Pt.
Media reports that the aircraft crashed just after takeoff and clipped a vehicle parked by the airstrip. The car spun around and flipped over. In the subsequent fire Stace's younger brother Gray suffered burns to his arms in an attempt to free him from the plane that was totally ablaze. Two other occupants in the car including a child received moderate injuries.
A regular Targa Rally competitor, Stace was not competing in this weekend's Targa Bambina but his dad Leigh Hopper was - understandably Leigh withdrew.
Event Director Peter Martin said: "The Targa team extends it's condolences to the family and dedicates this event to Stace's memory. Stace was project manager with the Hopper Developments family-run business based in Orewa and was involved with the multimillion-dollar development of Marsden Cove residential marina."
View Stace's 'larger than life' appearance at the Rotary South Island Champs on 20 February 2010: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4RY1-C72yA