Chef, 24, killed in bush crash
Ryan Kalsbeek. Photo: Facebook.com
For more than 30 hours, Ryan Kalsbeek's body and mangled motorcycle lay hidden in dense bushland.
As thousands of motorists passed unknowingly by the scene of a high-speed crash on Nelson Bay Road, Mr Kalsbeek's friends and colleagues became increasingly concerned about his whereabouts.
Police believe the talented young chef, originally of Canberra, died instantly when his Suzuki GSX 750 motorcycle left Nelson Bay Road on a gentle curve and cannoned into the steep stretch of scrub.
Mr Kalsbeek, 24, was last seen leaving a party in Nelson Bay about 4am on Friday. The crash occurred about two kilometres away, near the Gan Gan Road turn-off.
The party was supposed to be a farewell - of sorts - though none of those in attendance would have realised they were saying their final goodbyes.
Mr Kalsbeek, 24, was due to return to Canberra on Monday to pursue a career in the Air Force.
His last shift as a sous chef at the Rock Lobster restaurant in Nelson Bay, where he had worked for two years, was last Sunday.
The restaurant's owner, Robyn Bradbury, described Mr Kalsbeek as ''a very, very talented young guy''.
Ms Bradbury said Mr Kalsbeek loved motorcycles and had a large collection.
''He was passionate about his collection of motorbikes,'' Ms Bradbury said.
''He was a great young bloke, a really nice kid.
''When people became aware that he was missing they were talking to everyone they possibly could to find out what had happened.''
Mr Kalsbeek had been the best man at the wedding of two co-workers. Ms Bradbury said the death had hit many of the staff.
It is understood Mr Kalsbeek was reported missing to police on Saturday morning, about the same time as his body was discovered by chance by mountain bike riders travelling along a dirt access road below the crash site.
On Sunday, parts of the motorcycle remained strewn across the site.
A large tree showed signs of an impact about two metres above the ground, which dropped steeply beneath the roadway.
Police said the bike had partly disintegrated on impact.
Friends and family members paid tribute to Mr Kalsbeek on social media sites on Sunday.
His brother Daniel Kalsbeek wrote about ''my brother my mate''.
''Love ya dude never forget,'' he wrote.