Death crash rider had no helmet

By Kristin Edge

Flowers and notes from mates and family marked the spot outside a rural Northland service station where a 20-year-old motorcyclist died after colliding with another vehicle.

Police have named the man as Aaron Nigel Rudkin of Ruawai and have said he was not wearing a helmet or any protective clothing at the time. It is Northland's first road fatality for 2013.

The tributes started appearing yesterday.

Head of Northland police traffic unit Inspector Murray Hodson said the crash happened on Jellicoe St in Ruawai, 30km southeast of Dargaville, just before 6pm on Tuesday.

A southbound Toyota van was turning into the Caltex service station when the motorbike, travelling in the same direction, collided with it.

Mr Hodson said it appeared the motorcyclist had tried to overtake the right-turning van and struck the right rear of the vehicle.

Police consider speed was a contributing factor.

Mr Rudkin was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance staff.

"It's a reminder of how important, irrespective of the weather conditions, of wearing the appropriate attire when riding a motorbike," Mr Hodson said.

Police were disappointed there had been a road tragedy so early in the year.

The small community of Ruawai was yesterday reeling after the young man's death.

Mr Rudkin grew up and went to school in Ruawai, and his parents still live there.

"It's just such a waste of a young life," said one resident.

"I hope some of the young ones around here learn from this."

- Northern Advocate

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