Li Hong He.
The cyclist run over by a stock truck outside Dunedin
Hospital on Monday was a senior lecturer at the University of
Otago's Faculty of Dentistry, a husband and father of two
Dr Li Hong "Chris" He (34) was appointed senior lecturer at
the University of Otago in 2008.
Otago University Faculty of Dentistry Dean, Prof Greg Seymour
said Dr He left behind a wife and two young children, aged 2
and 2 months.
Prof Seymour said he visited Dr He's wife yesterday
"She was very distraught."
Her mother, who came to New Zealand for the birth of the
baby, was still in Dunedin, he said.
Dr He was a valued member of staff and popular with students.
Before leaving China for New Zealand, he gained his PhD in
Sydney in biomaterials, Prof Seymour said.
Biomaterials was the science behind the materials used in
dentistry, like the metals, plastics and resins used to fill
and replace teeth or dentures.
The bright young man had the potential to contribute
significantly to dentistry in New Zealand, he said.
Otago University senior teaching fellow John Arts said Dr He
was one of the nicest people he knew and had recently
returned from maternity leave and had just bought a house.
"It was all just starting. He was well established at the
dental school, had a new baby and a new house, so it's very
sad because he had everything ahead of him."
New Zealand Dental Student Association president Abdulla
Salman (23) said his lecturer and research supervisor was a
caring family man.
"He was always really proud to talk about his daughter. I've
never seen him angry in any way. He was always helpful and
keen to help out. Even in times when dentistry seemed
impossible, he'd be there to motivate you and make you feel
Students had created a Facebook page called RIP Chris (Li
Hong) He and had set up a bank account for donations to his
family, he said.
Students had donated $700 by yesterday afternoon, he said.
On the Otago Daily Times website readers said there
was a need for greater separation of cyclists and vehicles on
Dunedin City Council transportation planning manager Sarah
Connolly said the cycle lanes in Dunedin met the minimum
standards for sizing.
"They are just one factor you have to consider. Driver
behaviour is another factor. If a cycle lane is next to
parked cars, then drivers need to be aware if they open the
door, they need to be checking for cyclists."
Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said the official
line in the council parking strategy would be incorporated
into the transport strategy due for consultation next year.
"In order to encourage more cycling in the city, provisions
of cycle lanes should take precedence over on-street parking
on routes where there is a conflict," the official line said.
Ms Connolly said any public feedback on road design of state
highways would be passed on to NZTA.
Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken, of Dunedin, said the
examination by Environmental Science and Research yesterday
included an inspection of a car, stock truck and bike. Police
were still investigating if the door of a parked car had been
a factor in the accident.