20 Nov 2014

Bus survivor gives inquest evidence

8:15 pm on 20 November 2014

A man who survived being run over by a bus in central Wellington in 2012 has given evidence at an inquest into the death of a jogger who was not so lucky.

An engineering expert says several reports on Willis Street raised safety issues.

An engineering expert says several reports on Willis Street raised safety issues. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Wellington Coroner Gary Evans has this week been conducting an inquest into the death of Venessa Green, who died in July 2011 after running into a bus while she was out jogging.

Tim Brown, who is a director of New Zealand Bus, said he was careless and it appeared his accident resulted from him forgetting that buses could approach from the right as well as the left.

He told the court changing the lanes again would not solve the problem, as people would once more have to become familiar with a different layout, and he believed they were used to the changes made in 2010.

The court also heard further evidence from transport experts about the layout of Willis Street in the area where Ms Green collided with the bus.

Security was beefed up at the hearing on Thursday, at the request of Coroner Evans.

That followed yesterday afternoon's walk-out by Ms Green's family after they became upset at intense questioning of witnesses by Benjamin Easton, who was representing the transport lobby group The City is Ours.

At the start of the hearing this morning, Coroner Evans apologised to the Green family for the length of time the inquest has taken and also for Mr Easton's behaviour

He then gave Mr Easton a dressing down, telling him his questions so far had been needlessly repetitive, largely irrelevant to court issues, unhelpful to the court and unintelligible.

At the end of the hearing on Thursday, Ms Green's brother, Aaron Green, thanked the coroner for his work on the case.

He said the family hoped accidents could be minimised while balancing the vibrancy of the city, so other families did not have to suffer as they had.

Mr Green said Wellington was an exciting and lively city, and it was tragic his sister lost her life in a place she loved so much.

Coroner Evans reserved his decision.

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