22 Nov 2018

Sister of Dargaville car crash victim wants answers

9:01 pm on 22 November 2018

The family of a Dargaville man, who died after a car crashed with a potentially dodgy warrant of fitness, wants questions answered.

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Dargaville Diesel Specialists gave a car involved in a fatal crash a warrant of fitness a month before the accident. Photo: Facebook / Dargaville Diesel Specialists

William Ball's sister, Brenda Elliot, said her brother would not have liked the publicity this week over his death and the Dargaville garage that certified the crash vehicle as safe.

But the family wants questions resolved over the state of the vehicle involved in the crash.

Mr Ball, 65, was the front-seat passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a ditch near Dargaville in January.

He died of his injuries in intensive care 26 days later.

A 62-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to careless or inconsiderate driving causing death, said Northland road policing manager Wayne Ewers.

She is due to be sentenced in the District Court in Dargaville on 13 December.

Police found Mr Ball's seatbelt was frayed and failed on impact.

NZTA said Dargaville Diesel Specialists, which issued the warrant just a month prior to the crash, admitted it had done so without properly inspecting the vehicle.

The business has had its licence revoked since the accident.

Mrs Elliot said her brother never owned a car himself, shied away from any fuss, and probably would not have blamed the garage.

She said she felt sorry for the owner of the garage responsible for signing off the vehicle's warrant of fitness.

It was tough being a business owner in a small town and she expected the garage owner, Rodney Wilson, would go on paying for his mistake, she said.

Mr Wilson said he had apologised to the family, but he was not responsible for the death.

He inspected the seat belt and is adamant there was no problem at the time.

"I feel quite sad for their loss, but at the same time I feel sad for me being accused of something that was not the cause of the death," Mr Wilson said.

Mrs Elliot said her family was very distressed over their loss, but satisfied the matter was now in the hands of the police.

She has accepted an apology from the New Zealand Transport Association, which has been investigating the actions of the Dargaville garage.