Geoff Robertson, father of Chris Robertson who died in a 2010 crash. Photo: Jay Cronan
A Defence Force cadet who described buying his motorbike as the best decision of his life died when he crashed just 50 metres away from where another Canberra man died on the Kings Highway three years ago.
James Rigby, 18, was returning to Canberra from the south coast on Saturday morning when his bike left the road and struck a safety barrier near Nelligen.
The crash happened just east of Thule Road near the Nelligen Bridge, just metres from where Christian Robertson, 38, died in August 2010 when struck by a speeding car that lost control on the bend.
HARD-WORKING AND CONSIDERATE: James Rigby, 18, who died riding on the Kings Highway on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Mr Rigby, originally from Alstonville, NSW, who won a scholarship to study at the Australian Defence Force Academy, died later at Batemans Bay Hospital.
His name was released by NSW police on Tuesday.
NSW crash data issued after Mr Rigby's death provides a warning for Canberrans heading to the coast on two wheels, with motorcyclists having a fatality rate 23 times that of car occupants based on kilometres travelled.
Chris Robertson was riding his motorbike when he was killed in an accident with a car on the Kings Highway near Nelligen in 2010
As of Tuesday, 70 motorcyclists had died on the state's roads in the year to date, 11 more than at the same time last year. They have accounted for 22 per cent of all road fatalities this year.
Mr Rigby's high school principal and family friend David Silcock described him as being a cricket lover, who was always happy, hard-working and considerate of others.
''He was one of those rare boys who would volunteer for playing for the other team when they didn't have enough people on the day,'' he said.
''I know he was having the time of his life in Canberra with ADFA and I understand that he'd had a very successful year. They were very impressed with him.''
According to Mr Silcock, the Rigby family are well-known in Alstonville for their volunteer work with the local high school and in the community.
''I know he's got some very close friends up here that are very upset and will miss him tremendously,'' Mr Silcock said.
In the five years to the end of last year, there were six crashes within 200 metres of Thule Road.
One was a fatality, two caused injury and three did not.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said after Saturday's accident that Roads and Maritime Services would investigate improvements to that stretch of road.
Christian Robertson's father, Geoff, said he supported improvements to roads but the death of his son was due to dangerous driving by the car driver.
''Had that woman not been driving so fast, he wouldn't have died,'' Mr Robertson said. ''I want them to do things to make the roads better generally but I think it's more road signage, to say 'this is a black spot'. To actually change the road I don't think is realistic.''
Last year, a Bega District Court jury found Lynette Stenhouse, of Kianga, guilty of causing Robertson's death after she lost control of her vehicle and crossed onto the wrong side of the road.
The two fatal accidents happened on a Saturday, with Robertson's accident at 10.15am and Mr Rigby's at 11am.
Geoff Robertson said his son had ridden motorbikes since about age 21 and had
been involved in three accidents before his death.
''On a couple of those occasions he'd broken ribs, bones etc,'' Mr Robertson said.
''He knew that statistically there were issues [for motorcyclists] … but a lot of people do a lot of dangerous things.
''That was a sort of joke we had - he knew I would have preferred he didn't ride a bike.''
The former Canberra Hospital wardsman was adopted by the Robertsons in the early months of his life and eulogised as an adventure man at his funeral, which attracted more than 200 people.
''We know about Chris' love of skating, pushbike riding, motorbikes, snakes, rock climbing and, in his own way, the bush,'' Mr Robertson said of his son in 2010.
He said on Tuesday the recent motorcyclist death was a sad reminder of his loss but he had positive memories.
''He attracted a lot of people because he had an empathy with people,'' he said.
ACT and NSW police launched their summer road safety campaign for the season on Tuesday, promoting safe driving for the estimated 8000 Canberrans who use the Kings Highway each day of the Christmas period.
Last summer, there were nine crashes and nine injuries on the Kings Highway and police issued 364 speeding fines as part of their campaign.
ACT Policing traffic superintendent Ben Cartwright had a simple message for Canberrans heading down to the coast this summer, whether on two wheels or four.
''Drive safely, get there safely, follow the rules and enjoy your time,'' he said.