Former Hamilton teacher killed in collision with truck at Hamilton roundabout
Mike Leach taught Fairfield College students for 34 years.
Some of the things he was involved in at Fairfield were outdoor education and building drama sets. He was a geography and social sciences teacher, and also a Dean.
On Wednesday, as he cycled through the rain down Te Rapa Straight, the father of two's life was cut short in a collision.
The 67-year-old was killed when his bike and a B-train truck and trailer collided at the Te Rapa Road and Sunshine Avenue intersection at lunchtime on Wednesday.
His widow, Ann, told the Waikato Times that her husband had a passion for history and words.
"He had a love of writing and wrote many letters to the editor. He had a basic love of writing, history and woodwork."
He taught at Fairfield College for 34 years before retiring in 2007, she said.
They had two children, Matt and Kate.
He was a prolific letter writer to the Waikato Times, Ann said.
Some of the things he was involved in at Fairfield were outdoor education and building drama sets. He was a geography and social sciences teacher, and also a dean at the school.
"He grew up in Bucklands Beach, Auckland, and that's where he developed his love of sailing and boats," she said. "He loved woodwork, writing and reading. He loved motorbikes and loved to go for walks and/or cycles around the neighbourhood.
"He was generous with his time, lending a hand to whoever, whenever."
Ann, who is a teacher at Rototuna High School, was at home with family on Thursday. She was too upset to go into further details about her husband.
Quite a few people witnessed the crash on Wednesday, Waikato road police Senior Sergeant Gill Meadows said.
"There are a number of people who were quite traumatised by the incident and we have referred them to Victim Support.
"There is quite a bit of work to be done on that particular incident."
Initial inquiries showed that the Halls refrigeration B-train truck was heading north along Te Rapa Straight when it went to turn left at the roundabout into Sunshine Avenue.
"He was in the lane to turn left, and the cyclist was going straight ahead, and was on the left side of the truck.
"But we are still doing inquiries in regards to that."
There is a cyclist lane that runs along the straight, feeding into the roundabout.
The crash occurred metres from shops and cafes at 11.30am.
"We are working pretty quickly to find out what has happened."
The fatality was the third in the Waikato within a week.
On Tuesday evening, a 65-year-old male driver died when he pulled out into the path of an oncoming truck at the intersection of State Highway 27 and Wairere Road, in Waharoa, near Matamata.
The car's sole occupant died at the scene. The truck driver was uninjured in the 5pm crash.
Meadows said the man was originally from England but had been living in New Zealand for some time. He had no family in the country.
And on Saturday, Matamata local Steve Bates died after crashing his 1960 classic Cadillac Coupe deVille into a lamp post a block from his family home.
It's suspected the cabinetmaker and joiner suffered a medical event. He leaves behind his wife, Rhonda, and two children.