'You are and will always be my hero'

''The greatest dad ever - I couldn't have asked for better,'' is how Jared Wallace has described his father, Rob, who died in a workplace accident in Oamaru on Thursday afternoon.

''He showed me everything I know.''

Robert (Rob) George Wallace (58), of Hampden, was working on a truck at North Otago Truck Repairs when the deck fell on him, trapping him against the chassis. He was found by a fellow worker.

Waimate born, Mr Wallace was educated at Waitaki Boys' High School and served his apprenticeship and became an A-grade mechanic with Gillies Motors, and at North End Motors. He set up Mill Motors about 29 years ago, in a partnership in Meeks Mill, and later in Humber St.

He had worked at North Otago Truck Repairs about 18 months.

A keen motorcyclist, owning a Yamaha XVZ 1200, he helped found the Whitestone club.

''I saw every small town in New Zealand from the back of a motor bike by the time I was 11,'' Jared (33) said yesterday.

In recent years, his father had developed a passion for fishing, hunting and diving, over time owning three boats at Moeraki.

''I learnt every centimetre of the Moeraki reefs diving with him,'' Jared said.

On his Facebook page, Jared said his father was ''the man who would sing my praises, yet kick my arse whenever I needed''.

''He was my greatest influence, and in recent years definitely one of my best friends. You are and will always be my hero.''

Police and Worksafe NZ are investigating.


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