26 Jan 2015

Seatbelt could have saved tourist - coroner

2:37 pm on 26 January 2015

An Israeli tourist would probably have survived a car crash if she had been wearing a seatbelt, the Christchurch coroner has found.

Irit Wilder, 61, who was on holiday with her husband and some friends, died in 2013 when the rental car she was a passenger in left the road and collided with a tree near Te Anau.

A police report found the driver had most likely fallen asleep.

The driver and another passenger survived the crash.

Mrs Wilder was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown into the driver's seat.

Coroner Richard McElrea said her death highlighted the importance of wearing a seatbelt.