Police name cyclist killed in Christchurch

05:24, Apr 02 2014

Police have released the name of a cyclist killed in a crash on Lincoln Rd this morning.

Sharla Phyllis Haerewa, 22, was in her second year of a nursing degree at CPIT. Police said it seemed she was cycling to work at Christchurch Hospital when the crash occurred at 6.40am.

Police crash investigators said it appeared a heavy truck turned left from Lincoln Rd into an unnamed road opposite Domain Tce, but turned directly into the path of Haerewa on her bike. The front of the truck apparently hit the bike side-on.

The truck continued around the corner, knocking Haerewa from her bike and dragging the bike nearly 40 metres before coming to a halt.

Haerewa died at the scene.

Police said initial enquiries indicated Haerewa was wearing reflective cover on her backpack along with a flashing light. She also had working lights on the front and rear of her bike.


Police are considering whether to lay charges against the driver, a man in his 70s.

Crash investigators were at the site this morning and Lincoln Rd was closed in both directions between Annex Rd and Lyttelton St for several hours. The road had since opened.

Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Al Stewart said this was believed to be the first fatal crash involving a cyclist in Christchurch since July last year.

Three cyclists died on the city's roads in total last year, and no cyclist deaths were recorded in 2012.

Today's incident raises Canterbury's overall 2014 road toll to three.

It follows the death of 53-year-old motorcyclist Donald Clifford McMillan near Oxford on March 6 and the death of 85-year-old Margaret M'Court Mannering near Lake Tekapo on March 23.

An analysis of crash data collected between 1990 and 2013 showed there had been one fatal crash involving a cyclist on Lincoln Rd, as well as 16 severe injury crashes and 41 minor injury crashes.

See our previous analysis on cycle accidents in Christchurch, including an interactive graphic of the most dangerous intersections.

Lincoln Rd resident Gerald Diver said the road was always busy with traffic and there were regular near-collisions at the Domain Tce intersection.

He said he was looking forward to the road being widened.

Last week, the Christchurch City Council back-pedalled on its promise to give Christchurch a new $69 million network of cycleways within five years, instead proposing to push out the delivery date of 13 major cycleways by three years.

Keith Turner, chairman of the cycling lobby group Spokes Canterbury, said any crash where someone died or suffered serious injury was a ''tragedy''.

''We don't know the circumstances surrounding this particular accident, but it reinforces the need for as many separated cycleways as quickly as we can possibly have them because it makes it safer.''

Today's fatal crash happened in an area that was mostly residential and there was a normal cycleway running along the road.

''The problem with the [painted] lines on the road is it's very easy for any sort of vehicle to cross over into them, or cyclist move out of them. The good thing about separated cycleways is it's a very clearly defined area and harder to cross.''

Turner said the crash also reinforced the need for all roads to ''behave on the road in a safe way'', and for cyclists to make sure they could be seen by using lights and wearing bright clothing.

''We hope that this becomes another prod or prompt that action needs to be taken - and needs to be taken quickly - to make the roads safer, including for cyclists.''

Recent cycling deaths in Christchurch* 

2 July 2013

Colin Frank Alexander, 76, died after colliding with a car on Hills Road, St Albans, only a few blocks from his Crosby St home.

27 March 2013

Joanne Marjorie Drummond, 54, of Avondale, killed after being struck by a SUV at the intersection of Breezes and Wainoni Roads.

25 March 2013

Carl Taylor, 31, died after being struck by a car near the intersection of Breezes and Pages Roads.

30 May 2011 

A 77-year-old man died after his bicycle and a car collided on Main North Road, Papanui, near the Christchurch northern motorway.

12 February 2011

Brennan Lee Sharp, 43, of Beckenham, died from serious head injuries after losing control of his bicycle and crashing into rocks in Mt Cavendish scenic reserve car park.

26 January 2011

Graham Nigel Townley, 40, died after he fell from his bicycle and was hit by a car in High Street, Leeston. He had been drinking with friends before trying to get on his bicycle.


10 October 2011

Melvin Sidney Longworth, 69, died in hospital after a collision with a car on October 7 in Hills Rd, close to Akaroa St.

5 November 2010

Josephine Margaret Holmes, 54, died after hitting a concrete lamp post on her way to work at the corner of Sedgwick Way and Ravensdale Rise, Westmoreland.

26 May 2010 

Rochelle Roozen, 42, was killed cycling to work at the intersection of Springs and Marshs Road, 1 km from Prebbleton. The driver of the vehicle which hit her did not stop at the scene.

3 April 2010

Cathryn Mary Carr, 51, died after being hit on her bicycle from behind by a car on the old West Coast Road near Yaldhurst. She was thrown from the bicycle and died two days later in hospital from serious head injuries.

6 August 2009

Jens Richardon, 31, was killed cycling on the Springston-Leeston Road, near Christchurch.

23 July 2009

Matthew James Rhind, 19, from Karamea, died after being hit by a van in Halswell. He was cycling to work.

* An earlier list excluded one fatality from this list. We apologise for the oversight.

The Press