Kiwi dad Craig MacLugash killed in Brazil motorcycle crash

A Kiwi killed while riding his motorcycle with friends in Brazil is being remembered as a loving father and husband who made friends all over the world.

Former Auckland businessowner Craig MacLugash died on November 7 after colliding with a water truck near his home in Votuporanga, 500km inland from Sao Paulo.

The 52-year-old is survived by his wife, Simone, daughter Islay-Karyn, 14, and son Braedyn, 11.

MacLugash’s mother and stepfather, Joclyn and Ian Trethowen, spoke to the Herald from their Auckland home today.

Her son, a successful businessman who retired early, was someone who always worked hard, and who won the friendship of many, Joclyn Trethowen said.

“He had a lot of friends … [and] he was a good dad. The kids got taken a lot of places.”

Māngere College-educated MacLugash loved rugby league, starting in his younger years as a halfback for Manukau Magpies and later playing club rugby league in England, and also had a deep connection with his father’s home country of Scotland, Ian Trethowen said.

“There was very little he didn’t know about league. And he was very proud of his Scottish heritage. When he went there he picked up some Gaelic, and he was very involved in the Highland Games here.

“He even got married in a kilt.”

MacLugash worked as a baggage handler for Air New Zealand before doing an electrical apprenticeship and by his 30s had started, with a co-owner, construction and maintenance company Total Property Worx.

MacLugash sold his half of the business three years ago and followed his dream of moving his family to Simone’s home country of Brazil.

But he was starting to think of moving closer to home, Ian Trethowen said.

“He had his heart set on buying a property on the Gold Coast next year.”

His stepson loved Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bought his own from the United States.

“He went riding every weekend and was just enjoying life.”

The family don’t know what caused the crash as MacLugash was travelling ahead of others in his social motorcycling group when he struck the water truck. He was dead by the time his friends reached him.

“There were no witnesses and we don’t think there will be a police report, which is quite hard for us.”

MacLugash had been cremated and it was likely Simone would bring his remains back to New Zealand next year, Ian Trethowen said.

“Our wish is to bring him home.”

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