Owaka teen dies in bike accident
The Owaka teenager who died in a tragic quad bike crash yesterday was a talented athlete and actor who was to be Head Boy of Catlins Area School next year.
Rowan Parker, 16, was killed after the four-wheeler he was riding went over the edge of a cliff at a farm in Marks Bay, near Chaslands, yesterday evening.
Catlins Area School principal Alex MacCreadie 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.'' Mr MacCreadie 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 was also head of the school's Nora house, and would turn up to every school event dressed in its blue colours, Mr MacCreadie 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 this morning said he had been riding with two friends when he was not able to stop the motorbike from going over a steep cliff.
He received extensive injuries from the fall, which was estimated to be about 150 metres.
The Southland Times