A former Pike River Mine worker died when a van did a u-turn in front of him on Sunday in Christchurch - bringing yet another tragedy to the mining community.

Shannon David Stewart, 40, was killed following a crash with a van on Pound Rd in Christchurch about 5pm on Sunday.

His wife Tina Stewart told Fairfax Media his death was another kick to the mining community on the West Coast.

Mr Stewart escaped the Pike River mine disaster in 2010 by less than an hour, she said.


He had left work at 3pm - and a series of explosions just over half an hour later killed 29 people inside the mine.

"There has been too much tragedy for them all," Mrs Stewart said.

"He was working that day but got out early because we had planned to go to Christchurch for a romantic weekend away. We got calls [about the explosion] as we were coming over [Arthur's] pass."

She expected many other miners would come over for her husband's "massive" funeral on Saturday.

He had been working as a foreman in Christchurch after the couple moved there to get work after the mining disaster.

Mrs Stewart, who visited the crash site on Tuesday, told Fairfax Media that her husband of three and a half years rode bikes as a hobby.

"It just shouldn't have happened.

"He was just such a caring, loving guy. He was very friendly and very much loved by a lot of people."


Police said Mr Stewart's family were "understandably upset" and were being supported by police and Victim Support.

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