Japanese tourist killed in Wānaka bike-vehicle crash

by Lauren Pattemore - Jul 08, 2024

Police have revealed the person killed while riding a bike in Wānaka on Saturday was a 25-year-old man from Japan.

The fatal collision occurred on the corner of Plantation Road and Anderson Road, and police now say the man was riding on the wrong side of Plantation Road.

The new details on the incident were provided to some local media by senior constable Graham Perkins, of Alexandra, during a media briefing today.

It is reported the bike rider collided with the side of the vehicle at speed, and he was not wearing a helmet.

Flowers have been laid in tribute at the site.

"We are devastated - you were just one of us riding your bike. RIP," reads a note from Bike Wānaka and the Telfer Family.

Wānaka-Upper Clutha Community Board chair and cycling advocate Simon Telfer says the board was devastated to hear about the death of a person riding a bike on a local street.

"We feel a responsibility to keep all road users safe in the community."

Mr Telfer says he has been in contact with police to offer support for the family when that is appropriate.

He says the high level of investment and collaboration between the Queenstown Lakes District Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, and local advocacy groups has significantly grown Wānaka's network of cycle paths, which are increasingly well used. 

"Unfortunately protection is not able to be provided on every street and every route in town. We have to look out for one another, as we are very good at, as a community."

He says the area where the death occurred has a complex roading layout and has been identified as needing attention, but without an obvious solution.

"As we know, the area where the death occurred is a busy junction of a state highway, cross town link road and various cycle and shared paths.

"The Bike Wānaka community has been hit hard by the news and there has been lots of messages over the weekend and laying of flowers at the site."

The incident happened at approximately 3.50pm.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash to contact them.

Crux has approached police for additional comment on this story.

Main image: Flower tributes at the scene of a fatal crash in Wānaka.

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