A West Coast man killed in a fatal crash near Christchurch on Sunday evening was a former Pike River miner.

Shannon David Stewart, 40, grew up in Greymouth, attended John Paul II High School, played for Marist Rugby League and worked underground at the Spring Creek then Pike River mines before moving to Christchurch.

He was killed when a van apparently did a U-turn in front of his motorbike on Pound Road near Yaldhurst on the western edge of Christchurch, shortly before 5pm on Sunday.

Detective sergeant Geoff Rudduck, of Christchurch, said Mr Stewart was apparently travelling north along Pound Road when his motorbike and a Toyota Hiace van collided.

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The driver and sole occupant of the van was not injured.

- Greymouth Star