Quad bike victim well-known farmer

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 13:06 07/01/2013

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A Mid-Canterbury community has been rocked by the death of a Rakaia farmer in a quad bike accident.

Hamish Baxter, 45, died from his injuries after crashing his quad bike beside his farm in Gardiners Rd, Dorie, on Saturday night.

Emergency services were called about 11.15pm, but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy section chairman Hamish Davidson said Baxter was a well-known personality in Dorie, and his death had come as a shock.

Baxter was a high-profile crop farmer but converted to dairying about 12 months ago.

''Dorie is a small community. It's certainly rocked everybody in that area," Davidson said.

''The community is obviously pretty upset about it. He's a really well-known character and will be sorely missed.''

Sergeant Sean Buchanan said Baxter had gone out to check his irrigation system about 11pm, which was not unusual for him to do at that time of night.

Baxter briefly stopped at a house on the farm to visit a farm worker.

People from the house found Baxter dead on the grass verge on the side of Gardiners Rd about 10 minutes later.

Buchanan said Baxter was not wearing a helmet, he said.

People from the house attempted CPR but could not revive Baxter.

Baxter, director of A H Baxter Ltd, is survived by his wife, Louise, and three children.

The couple have previously opened their gardens, which included a lake he created, to the public for the Dorie country garden day.

Quad bike accidents have dominated headlines during the holiday break.

On January 2, a 6-year-old girl was left with serious head injuries after the quad bike she was riding with four intoxicated adults left a Hawke's Bay road.

On Boxing Day 16-year-old Rowan Parker, a talented athlete who was to be head boy of the South Otago town's Catlins Area School, was killed after the quad bike he was riding went over the edge of a cliff at Marks Bay, in the Chaslands.

''The police would like to reiterate that they recommend that all users of farm bikes and off-road vehicles wear helmets and high-vis clothing and have the appropriate training,'' Buchanan said.

''They ask that rural families and communities look out for each other and encourage the wearing of this safety gear."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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