'Old trucker' dies day before anniversary
Bill Frost was about to celebrate his wedding anniversary.
The 58-year-old Coalgate community stalwart had already bought a card and written a special message to his wife of 32 years, Vicky.
The card was sitting on the windowsill of the couple's home when he was killed in a freak accident at Lyttelton Wharf.
Frost, a transport company owner, had just finished a day's work spraying down dust on his water tanker when he was pinned between a logging truck trailer and a forklift about 3.20pm on Wednesday.
Police said Frost had been standing by the forklift on No 2 Wharf when the accident happened. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful and he was declared dead at the scene.
Vicky Frost was at home sick from work. Frost had sent her a text in the morning just to say hello. She learned of his death when police knocked on her door that afternoon.
For her husband to be killed a day before their wedding anniversary was "crappy timing".
He had bought the card a week ago - "in case he forgot", she said.
She said her husband "did everything big".
They had tickets to go to the Top Gear Festival in Sydney in March and planned to attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Frost was on numerous town committees and served two terms on the Malvern Community Board. His passions were road safety, trucks, fishing and people.
He was pivotal in getting a playground built in Coalgate so local children did not have to walk down the main road to one at Glentunnel.
He started his Drivertek International transport firm about 20 years ago - about the same time he built the couple's log home at Coalgate.
He wrote a monthly column for New Zealand Trucking magazine under the alias, "Just an old trucker".
He was a "softie". The couple had three children and three grandchildren, who he "loved to bits". "He was a good bugger," Vicky Frost said.
Fellow Coalgate resident Bob Mugford said his friend's death was "a terrific loss to the community".
The accident was hard to comprehend, as Bill Frost was a safety "fanatic".
"It's pretty shattering. I had trouble believing it," Mugford said.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment health and safety inspectors are investigating the workplace accident.
Lyttelton Port Company has refused to comment.