Locals in the tiny district of Clutha are shocked and devastated by the death of a young couple in a plane crash.
Farmer and pilot Thomas John Evans, 30, and his girlfriend Jenna Frances Craig, 26, were killed in the accident yesterday.
The Rans S6 microlight crashed at Kaka Point in The Catlins, South Otago.
The couple were both from the area, with Evans working as a farmer near Clydevale, and Craig as a sales rep for Fonterra's Farm Source store in Balclutha.
Farm Source stores director Jason Minkhorst told the Herald they had closed the store today as a mark of respect to Craig.
He said staff needed the time to grieve for a well-respected and liked colleague.
"She was one of the stars, had massive potential.
"She's been with us for several years, and all the farmers really liked her.
"The team's absolutely devastated. Our farmers will understand why we had to shut for the day, we're all so upset.
"We're just trying to give everyone as much support as we can."
He said it was hard to do her justice, because it was still so raw.
"She was just so well respected, by her peers, by farmers and customers.
"That's probably as much as I can get out without crumbling at the moment."
Evans previously studied agriculture in England, at Harper Adams University.
Once back in South Otago, he played for the Owaka rugby football club.
The families of both Evans and Craig have requested privacy.
A Fire Service spokesman said the crash was "halfway between Kaka Point and Owaka, just off the Owaka Highway".
He said the crash site was in a rural area, near Ahuriri Flat.
The crash is being investigated jointly by police and the Civil Aviation Authority, with oversight from the Coroner.