The Waikato man who died in a crash on his way to the Ranfurly Shield challenge in New Plymouth was a staunch Taranaki supporter.
Lloyd Russell Reed, 56, died after his Harley-Davidson and a car crashed at the intersection of Princess St and Main North Rd in Waitara, North Taranaki on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Reed, from Tokoroa, was on his way to his old hometown of Stratford where he was meeting his Club X social motorcycle club friends to go to the rugby match. Club X vice president Dave van Kerssen still has Mr Reed's ticket.
"We didn't get to the rugby. I knew something wasn't right. It wasn't until later in the evening that our worst fears were confirmed."
Mr van Kerssen described his friend - a Taranaki supporter who even wore his Taranaki jersey to Waikato games - as "one of the nicest, most genuine guys you could ever hope to meet".
They had known each other since shortly after the club's formation in 1999. Mr Reed had a wife, Sue, a couple of lovely children and he was a grandfather, Mr van Kerssen said.
"Sue's going to be struggling with this, she always will. We're not handling it well here either."
Mr Reed was a fitter/turner at the Kinleith Mills. Mr van Kerssen said while he was a hard worker with a lot of responsibility and plenty of friends there, he lived to ride.
His 2003 anniversary model Harley-Davidson had done 120,000km in 10 years.
"He came down to Stratford whenever he could."
Mr van Kerssen said the tight-knit group of 18 Club X members had gathered at the club and would probably stay there until Monday when they planned to ride to Mr Reed's funeral, which they understood would be held in Tokoroa.
Waitara Police Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast said the serious crash unit was investigating the scene yesterday, but that it was too early to comment on the cause of the crash.
However, he confirmed that Mr Reed was travelling on the main road and the car was coming off a road with a stop sign.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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