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Headline: Canterbury Police and WorkSafe NZ investigations into fatal farming incident ongoing

Monday, 9 March 2015 – 5:31pm

Canterbury Police are now able to name the victim of the fatal farming incident at a rural property in Purau which occurred shortly after 12 noon on Friday (6 March 2015).  He was 34 year old Christopher James Corlett from Taranaki.

The death has been referred to the Coroner who will determine the cause of death.  His family are extremely upset and are being supported by Canterbury Police and his employer.

Witnesses report that the fertiliser truck he was driving was seen travelling backwards down a moderate slope before continuing down a steeper incline, coming to an abrupt stop in a gully.  Canterbury Police, Diamond Harbour Volunteer Fire Brigade and Westpac Helicopter attended the incident but the driver was confirmed as deceased at the scene.

Canterbury Police and WorkSafe New Zealand investigations into the cause of the incident are continuing. 

A family spokesperson says “We are all in shock and struggling to come to terms with the fact that Chris is not coming home.  He was a loving father of two, husband, son, brother and friend.  We understand that the public are interested in the events which took Chris from us but ask they understand why we ask for privacy while we come to terms with our tragic loss.  Our family will hold a private funeral where his friends and family can come together to celebrate his life and ask that the media do not attend or speak to his mourners.  We would like to thank Canterbury Police and emergency services for their help, support and professionalism and our friends for their unwavering support. “

Canterbury Police will not be making any further comment regarding this incident and ongoing investigation.


Issued by:  Lisa-Marie Brooks, District Communications Manager, Canterbury Police District.  Mobile:  021 942 404