Southern teen dies after riding off cliff

Last updated 13:27 27/12/2012
Rowan Parker
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Owaka teenager Rowan Parker.

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A small South Otago community is in mourning after a teen described as a "fabulous role model" was killed in a quad bike crash.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan Parker died after riding his four-wheel motorbike off a cliff at a farm in Marks Bay, near Chaslands, last night.

Catlins Area School principal Alex McCreadie said Rowan had been announced as next year's Head Boy at the school's end-of-term prizegiving.

''He was pleased as punch ... over the moon,'' McCreadie said.

''He was a fabulous role model.''

Rowan was a superb athelete across many different sports, an excellent actor who had played the lead role in school productions, and a kapa haka leader, he said.

He was also head of the school's Nora house, and would turn up to every school event dressed in its blue colours, McCreadie said.

The Parker family and the Owaka community had been devastated by Rowan's death, he said.

''My son was also friends with him ... he is going to be very sorely missed. A big gap to fill.''

Police said the teen was driving with friends along a coastal track when he lost control of his bike and went over the cliff edge. He plummeted 150 meters on to rocks below.

Police inquires were continuing and the bike would be recovered by helicopter from the scene today.

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