A small Southland community is in mourning after a teenager described as a "fabulous role model" was killed in a motorcycle crash.
Sixteen-year-old Rowan Cai Parker died after his four-wheel motorbike plunged down a cliff at a farm in Marks Bay, near Chaslands, last night.
Police officially released his name this afternoon.
They said Rowan had been visiting the farm between Marks Bay and Wallace Bay and riding motorcycles with two friends.
It appeared the trio were riding along a coastal track when Rowan lost control of his motorcycle and drove over a cliff, falling 150 metres on to rocks below.
He suffered extensive injuries from the fall about 6.30pm.
Police, firefighters and the Otago rescue helicopter raced to the scene, but Rowan could not be saved.
He died at the scene from his injuries and his body was flown to Dunedin Hospital.
Police said the motorcycle would be recovered by helicopter today.
Catlins Area School principal Alex McCreadie said Rowan had been announced as next year's head boy at the school's end-of-year prizegiving.
''He was pleased as punch ... over the moon.'' McCreadie said.
''He was a fabulous role model.''
Rowan was a superb athelete across many sports, an excellent actor who had played the lead role in school productions, and a kapa haka leader, he said.
He was 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.''
The case will be referred to the coroner .
- The Press
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