British backpacker dies in New Zealand crash

A British backpacker has died in a road accident in New Zealand while on a round the world trip.

23-year-old Adam Birdsey was taking a gap year after completing a degree in business at the University of Derby.

He was killed after the camper van they were driving collided with a pick-up truck that was towing a speedboat at a junction in Blenheim on New Zealand’s South Island.

Adam’s mother, Sheelagh Birdsey, of Cam, Gloucestershire, 55, said: “The whole family is still coming to terms with his loss.

“His dad is in New Zealand and we are both finding it very hard to come to terms with it.

“I can’t even find the words to explain how devastated we both are by losing Adam – he was such a lovely boy.”

Adam’s father, David, 60, has flown to New Zealand and is expected to return in around a week with his son’s body.

On Adam’s MySpace page he had posted a survey on his personal details that revealed he would like to die in “a blazing ball of fire”.

Adam was a keen football player and played for AC Royals, in Hillesley, near his hometown.

Martyn Dean, club manager, had fond memories of Adam.

He said: “Adam was a great lad. He would help anybody out. He enjoyed life and he enjoyed his football. It’s just a sad, tragic end to a life.

“Our thoughts go out to his family.”

Four other backpackers were hurt in the crash, David McCallum, 23, Ian Mills, 22, Dean Clark, 22 and Samuel Barber, 20.

Website development update

Put the Adam story up on ivolunteer, it’s on the front page as it’s the only news story I’ve managed to get onto the templates. I had to think carefully about which image to use, went with the car crash image in the end. I had to do this because of the width of the pic, Adam’s picture was too vertical and it didn’t fit with the design of the index page. Didn’t have to change anything on the actual content template, that worked really well, and it should allow me to get content online quickly using the templates.

Just going to be a real pain changing all the stories I do now to incorporate related stories etc.

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