Man killed in crash 'so excited about driving home'

Got motorcycle hours before drink-driver crash

Last updated 12:27 05/09/2014
Cameron Alexander Blaze Johnson
BLAZE JOHNSON: Killed hours after buying his dream motorcycle.

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A Christchurch man had bought his dream motorcycle less than two hours before colliding with a drunk driver. 

Cameron Alexander Blaze Johnson, 24, purchased a motorcycle in Dunedin about 1pm on October 20 last year and was riding it north on State Highway 1 when he collided with a car near Palmerston. 

Coroner David Crerar said in findings released today that the driver of the car, Stuart White, had been doing a U-turn when Johnson struck the rear of his vehicle. 

The impact threw Johnson into the passenger compartment of White's car through the right rear passenger window. 

Johnson was flown to Dunedin Hospital with serious head injuries and died three hours after the crash. 

Senior Constable Alistair Crosland, of the southern district serious crash unit, said Johnson was alert and following all road rules when the crash happened. White was found to be intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit.

He failed to see Johnson approaching from behind and turned across the motorcyclist's path. 

White later pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and causing Johnson's death and was jailed for three years and four months.

The coroner said he was satisfied the circumstances surrounding Johnson's death had been dealt with by Judge Joanna Maze in the Oamaru District Court. Johnson was known as Blaze to his friends and family and had been a trainee business analyst.

His aunt, Leigh Bromell, earlier told The Press that Johnson had just bought his ''dream bike'' - a Kawasaki Ninja.

''He loved motorbikes; he's been riding them since he was eight. He had five of them but this was his first sports bike,'' she said.

''He'd flown down to Dunedin [that morning] to get it and was so excited about driving it home.''

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