Charges laid over cyclist's death

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A Far North man has been charged in relation to a crash which killed cyclist Bill Bayliss near Kerikeri earlier this year.
A Far North man has been charged in relation to a crash which killed cyclist Bill Bayliss near Kerikeri earlier this year.

A Far North man has been charged with drink-driving causing death following a crash which claimed the life of a popular school teacher as he was cycling on a rural Kerikeri road.

Bill Bayliss, 54, was riding on Kapiro Rd when he was struck by a four-wheel-drive about 8.10am on January 18. He suffered critical injuries and died on the way to hospital.

Pieces of Mr Bayliss' bike were scattered along a 100m section of road. The vehicle ended up on its side on the the verge on the opposite side of the road. The driver was uninjured and breath-tested at the scene.

The road was closed for much of the day while the Serious Crash Unit investigated.

A 36-year-old Matauri Bay man was formally charged on April 22 with driving with excess breath alcohol causing death. It was also his third or subsequent drink-driving offence. He was remanded on bail to May 13.

Mr Bayliss taught at Westmount School, a private school near Kerikeri with a roll of about 100 pupils, and was the head of mathematics for all 15 Westmount campuses across New Zealand.

He was an active member of the community and was particularly involved in the Kerikeri Squash Club.

At the time club chairman Claude Shepherd described Mr Bayliss as a ''genuine good guy'' who was always ready to help others. His death was a tragic loss for his family, school and the community.

Westmount School principal Mike Pinker said he was a respected, loyal and greatly appreciated staff member. He had been at the school since 2005.

Mr Bayliss was the first fatality on Northland roads and the second cyclist to die in New Zealand in 2014. The crash occurred on a straight section of road in good visibility at a time of little traffic.

- Northern Advocate

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