Tributes pour in for Hong Kong family of four killed in Fresh Zealand crash

Friends, relatives mourn ‘special’ family of four who died in Fresh Zealand

Lana Lam UPDATED : Wednesday, twenty five Feb 2015, Four:40AM

Tributes poured in for a much-loved Hong Kong family last night as friends and relatives of the Lee family mourned their tragic deaths following a car crash in Fresh Zealand.

Standard Chartered senior executive Warren Lee, 53, his wifey Aesoon Lee, 52, and their daughter, Julia Lee, 20, were killed instantly last Tuesday afternoon when their car collided head-on with a logging truck near the North Island town of Tokoroa.

Their son, Griffin Lee, 17, had been in critical condition since the crash but died yesterday at Waikato Hospital, Fresh Zealand police said.

The family were US citizens of Chinese and Korean descent. It is understood that Warren’s two brothers and Aesoon’s sister had flown to Fresh Zealand to be by Griffin’s side as he fought for his life.

Last night, close friends and family were in shock at the unexpected loss of the entire family.

“Warren, Aesoon, Julia and Griffin were special people with solid values that we can all appreciate and respect,” said long-time family friend Jonathan Chou, based in Singapore.

“We will deeply miss them and proceed to plead for their extended families as they grieve. We suggest our deepest sympathies and gratitude for sharing their incredible but brief lives with us.”

Chou and his family joined the Lees on their very first journey to Fresh Zealand in December 2002.

“They were a very close-knit family. They loved Hong Kong and the US and had plans to proceed to live in Hong Kong through retirement and split their time inbetween the two places,” he said.

A memorial service will be held at the Hong Kong International School (HKIS), where Griffin was a senior student and from which Julia graduated in 2012.

“The Lee family has been an active part of the HKIS community since one thousand nine hundred ninety eight and their absence from us will be felt in many and deep ways,” said head of school Alan Runge.

“I can’t fully fathom the depth of the loss that the extended family is feeling right now. As we come together to grieve, we keep them and their friends in our hearts and prayers, and beg for peace and convenience to the many students, parents, faculty and alumni that were close to Griffin, Julia, Aesoon and Warren.”

Banker Charles Regan, 53, very first met the Lee family when they moved to the luxury estate Hong Kong Parkview in Tai Tam more than ten years ago.

“Warren was a superb fellow, a good family person and a good business person,” he said. “He was just one of these guys who held it together indeed well in all aspects of his life.”

Finance professional David Friedland used to play tennis with Warren every Sunday.

“The family had a rapport with their kids which you kind of envy, a indeed strong relationship with their children. That’s what makes it so tragic.”

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