Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Foreign driver charged over death of photographer

Riley Baker was taken to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition and died as a result of his injuries yesterday morning.
Riley Baker was taken to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition and died as a result of his injuries yesterday morning.

A young motorcyclist who police say died after colliding with a Chinese driver's vehicle in Otago on Saturday will donate organs to seven different people.

Riley Baker, 26, of Dunedin, died in Dunedin Hospital yesterday after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car on State Highway 1, between Palmerston and Moeraki, about 4.30pm on Saturday.

Limin Ma, 41, of Shanghai, has been charged with causing the crash which killed the talented young photographer and computer technician.

Read more: Top photographer killed in crash

He faced one count of dangerous driving causing injury. Police said that charge was likely to be upgraded.

Last night, on social media, Baker's girlfriend Amy McCarthy wrote that "after a long day of negotiating the red tape, Riley is going into surgery so he can give to the world one last time.

"They have a match for every single organ, so while I don't get to keep him it's nice to know that somewhere seven people and their families are benefiting from this."

McCarthy said Baker had the biggest heart of anyone she had ever met.

Another family member, who took to social media to share some of Baker's beautiful photographs, wrote that he was a "very, very cautious biker" who had all the right gear and "a damn good helmet".

"It just wasn't enough to save him from a head-on collision," he wrote.

He wrote that Baker would be happy to know his organs would help seven other people.

At the time of the crash, police said early indications suggested Baker's motorcycle was hit when the car crossed the centre line into his path to enter a layby on a straight stretch of road.

In June this year, Baker won the 2016 Otago Wildlife Photography Exhibition Photographer of the Year, beating nearly 2000 entries.

His photo, 'Fernbird calling', was taken at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, near Dunedin.

At the time, he said photography - especially wildlife photography - was a hobby and he enjoyed the seclusion while taking photos.

Ma is due to reappear in court on August 23.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 Oct 2016 15:57:23 Processing Time: 610ms