A musician killed in a head-on crash by a driver on the wrong side of a Christchurch motorway is being remembered by his mother as a “rockstar son” and her “rock to lean on”.
Jordan Gow, 27, was about 15 minutes from starting his shift at work in North Canterbury as he drove along Russley Rd, near the Memorial Arches in Christchurch, about 6.45am on Sunday.
It is believed another man in his 20s left the BP petrol station on Russley Rd by driving over a kerb and grass verge knocking over a sign. He then turned left, driving past a wrong way sign, and entered the motorway on the wrong side of the road.
The man then drove for more than 1km with no lights on before colliding head-on with Gow’s car. Both men died at the scene.
Gow’s mother Penny Violetto told Stuff from her home in the United States she received a call from his twin brother, Josh Gow, on Sunday morning.
“I was like, ‘this is odd, it’s not like him to call me this early’. He was freezing, he couldn’t talk, he was like, ‘I’ve got some news to tell you’, and he was holding back … he couldn’t get the words out. I could tell he didn’t want to tell me, but he knew he had to.”
Violetto said Josh Gow was in “deep, deep shock”.
“He can’t believe it … we’re just really numb, every now and then it comes back and reminds you, it’s horrible. I’m truly devastated and heartbroken.”
Gow, who was a member of several heavy metal bands, was Violetto’s “rockstar son”.
“He was also my rock to lean on when times got tough. He was more like a very close friend to my heart, as well as my awesome son.”
“He was such an outgoing boy, he would have anybody on a treat. He was a talented musician, he was so charismatic and not afraid to take on anything … there was a lot of love, a lot of fun.”
Gow messaged his mother about three days ago to say he missed her and wanted to call her the next day when he had a day off work. The following evening, as they cooked dinner, the two spoke for about 30 minutes. Gow, who was in bands with his brother, was excited about his first gig post-lockdown.
Violetto said she could not understand how the other driver ended up on the wrong side of the motorway.
“Who on earth would drive on the wrong side of the road? How did that happen? Were they drunk? Were they on drugs? Were they from another country?
“You’ve got to be a responsible driver on the road.”
Violetto said she planned on returning to Christchurch in the coming days.
A police investigation into the crash is under way. There are several signs at the BP car park warning motorists not to exit where the driver entered the motorway.