Hamish McLennan was barely even moving when his quad bike rolled into a metre-wide drain holding about a foot of water.
The 57-year-old had headed out to spray the weeds on his Darfield farm early on April 7, 2015, and his family believes he had probably stopped to lean out and douse a blackberry bush when the accident happened.
He landed in the water and the heavy machine came down on top of him leaving no way to get out.
It wasn't until late that afternoon when his wife and daughter arrived home and realised he hadn't been in for lunch, that the family became concerned.
Searching the farm for his father, son Matthew McLennan eventually came across the overturned bike and his dad's submerged body.
He was one of 117 people who have died in quad bike accidents in New Zealand in the past 13 years. Becoming trapped under or crushed by the bike was the cause of death in more than half the cases analysed by the Herald on Sunday.
The provisional figures, provided by the coroner's office for up to June 30, showed men accounted for 83 per cent of those killed.
The age range spanned from 4 to 87, nine were passengers and 38 people were not wearing helmets. The accidents were dotted around farms, roads, driveways and beaches all over New Zealand.
Children who died include Charlie John Vercoe , 6, after an accident on an adult-sized quad bike on a farm near Invercargill in January 2014; Shane White , 10, while riding in South Wairarapa in October 2012 and Jossie Wetini-Whitiora , 15, after a crash in October 2016 in Taharoa, south of Kawhia.
Quad bike death prompts coroner to call for change
The data included all-terrain vehicles, farm bikes and 4x4s.
Of the 90 coroners' reports the Herald on Sunday received, 51 people were killed because a quad bike, which weighs about 300kg, flipped or rolled on top of them crushing or suffocating them.
Twenty-one of the cases are still active files being reviewed by a coroner.
The figures each represent a person and a family left shocked and shattered by the unexpected loss.
Four years after her husband's accident, it remains difficult for McLennan's wife, Linda, to talk about what she describes as "the worst day of your life". Even now she is reminded of what could have been.
"We were definitely all grief-stricken."
The couple had brought in a share milker less than a year before so they could start to spend more time as a family as they neared retirement age.
"It was going to be the start of, as you get into that older age group, not being tied to the farm all the time.
"You're sitting back now and watching other people my age group go off as couples overseas and do things, and feel you're missing out. That's had a major effect."
The latest figures come on the heels of a call from Wellington-based coroner Brigitte Windley for a cross-sector working party to be formed to consider the introduction of a mandatory safety standard.
The recommendation was prompted by the inquest into the 2015 death of farm assistant Kaye Marie Blance, who was found under an overturned quad bike on a Westport farm.
Two years earlier, Windley raised similar concerns. After ruling on the death of Neville Ian Anderson, who was also found under a quad bike on a farm in the Clutha District in 2014, she called for the Government to do more to reduce the number of deaths.
In that case, she suggested ongoing rider education would remain essential and recommended agencies consider whether there was a case for mandatory rollover protection devices; a subsidy programme for education, the purchase of roll bars or alternative vehicles; and a national five-star rating system for quad bikes.
Her pleas followed calls for more safety features by Deputy Coroner Brandt Shortland after he investigated five quad bike deaths in 2013.
The number of deaths has dropped off in the past few years from a record high of 17 in 2016 and eight in 2017 and 2018 respectively, although some of those were still actively being investigated by the coroner.
In the first half of this year, the coroner had received 10 cases of deaths involving quad bikes but only one had been closed.
On top of that, ACC says it received more than 1000 claims for work-related quad bike accidents costing $12 million each year.
Federated Farmers president and health and safety spokeswoman Katie Milne says a lot of work has been done in recent years to get the message out about the potential dangers of quad bikes and they were "seeing the cultural shift to being more careful".
She believes that was part of the recent reduction in deaths and says there is more awareness of the need for good maintenance, decent tyres, different types of terrain and the dangers posed by different weather conditions.
There is no one answer but training is key, she says.
Although any death on a quad bike is tragic, Milne points out that, compared to road bikes, the numbers are low.
The number of road bikes in the country is about the same as the number of quad bikes, Milne says, however, about 50 people die on road bikes every year compared to an average of about 10 on quad bikes.
As for crush protection devices, she says farmers are still wary of installing them because there has not been a lot of research and there is concern the extra weight up high could make the bikes less stable.
But, those people she had spoken to who had rolled a quad bike with a crash protection device installed said they wouldn't still be here without them and there was mounting evidence they helped.
WorkSafe has recently changed its advice to endorse the use of crush protection devices (CPDs) .
In 2014, the body said fitting the safety devices was a matter of personal choice. But more research has since been published including two New South Wales studies, which found there are benefits.
"It's our view CPDs are likely to prevent serious and fatal injuries. That's why we strongly recommend you have a CPD installed," a WorkSafe policy clarification said.
WorkSafe conceded there was the chance the devices could cause an injury during a rollover but believed the benefits of them outweighed the risks.
While the organisation's advice only went so far as to "strongly recommend" installing the devices they said that in future, crush protection was likely to become a requirement.
It was important, however, that the devices installed were professionally designed and manufactured.
WorkSafe's change in direction and the opportunity to save lives was behind July's launch of an ACC subsidy to help small and medium rural businesses in the most high-risk sectors to purchase one of two WorkSafe approved crash protection devices, ACC head of workplace safety and levies Paul Gimblett says.
Gimblett says it was recent research, which had shown crush protection devices "definitely reduced the risk of harm although they didn't make it zero", that had encouraged ACC to go ahead with the subsidy.
"The use of the devices is better than not having them. WorkSafe has come out saying they strongly recommend them.
"It'll be interesting to see whether farmers are convinced. We certainly are and we think they certainly should be."
Hamish McLennan, had been riding quad bikes for 30 years without incident and was always cautious, according to his family.
"It wasn't like teenage boys taking risks and driving stupidly and driving too fast," his wife says.
"He was just pottering along spraying. I don't think it was speed or poor maintenance of the bike. It was just a dreadful accident."
She has read about crush protection devices since the accident and is supportive of calls for farmers to consider installing them.
"If there had been something solid, then definitely it would have saved him."
The family still own the farm and use a quad bike to get around it but now make sure to wear helmets and are even more cautious than before.
But not all quad bike accidents are on the farm.
WorkSafe data shows 62 people died in workplace accidents on quad bikes and 55 died on quad bikes being used for recreation or personal use.
Hooning on the beach or in paddocks, riding to a mates house for a drink and even taking a quad bike tour have led to deaths in New Zealand.
Milne describes seeing bikes loaded up with people and fishing gear speeding down beaches.
It is the lack of information and training many recreational users receive - especially when buying the machines second-hand - that concerns her.
People are not told about how dangerous it is to carry passengers or overload a quad bike, let alone the need for care on rough or sloping terrain.
Linda McLennan is hopeful sharing her family's story will help make all quad bike users more wary.
Her warning: "Be aware of your surrounds all the time - that would be the main thing."