31 Jul 2012

Man's death blamed on chewing gum

1:03 pm on 31 July 2012

A milk tanker driver who had a habit of chewing gum died after probably choking on a piece of gum while in bed, a Coroner has found.

The Coroner's report said the probable cause of death of Taranaki man Stephen Ngatai, 60, was asphyxiation by what's called a food bolus.

Mr Ngatai was found dead in February this year by his brother James Old.

The two men lived at the same address and James Old went to check on his brother when Mr Ngatai's employer phoned to say he had not turned up for work.

Mr Old thought his brother was asleep, but when he checked a second time he found Mr Ngatai was cold.