Man falls to his death at Rakaia Gorge while taking a photo

By | April 19, 2016

A man fell to his death while posing for a photo from a cliff in Canterbury yesterday.

According to reports, 47-year-old Darryl Richard Kitto fell from a popular spot that overlooks the Rakaia Gorge. Senior Constable Andy Grant of Darfield said that he had repositioned himself after one photo when he slipped and fell off the cliff and died shortly after.

Kitto had a mental disability and was unable to live independently.

Police were called to the scene on Rakaia Gorge Rd at around 2:38pm. According to a report, the person who was taking his picture was one of his carers.

Senior Sergeant Pete Stills told reporters that Mr Kitto wanted to take a picture of the gorge in the background, and “appears to have slipped and fallen approximately 40 metres colliding with a tree.”

Stuff reported that Kitto, orginally from Dunedin but moved to Christchurch in his youth, was the last surviving member of his immediate family, and had little contact with the extended family.

“We never really heard from [Kitto]. The only time I really saw him was at his dad’s funeral,” said Noeline Devlin, his closest surviving relative.

“He got very close to his dad in his later years. Him and his carer would make trips down to Dunedin to see him,” she added. “In his mind, he thought he would be able to come back to Dunedin, and it was still going to be like it was when he left. He just had the wrong idea.”

Mr Kitto’s companione were reportedly traumatised by the incident. They are now receiving help from victim support.