Fatal crash driver speeding, four times over legal alcohol limit

3:52 pm on 29 July 2019

An international student who killed himself and another driver in a head-on crash near New Plymouth last year was drunk and speeding at the time of the collision.

A coroner's report also found the driver was awaiting further prosecutions on a drink driving charge at the time of the crash.

Indian international student Yatharth Vats was three days away from appearing in court for a drink driving offence when he crossed the centre line near Brixton, killing another international student on 14 October 2018.

The coroner's report said the 23-year old was reaching speeds of up to 190 km/h between Waitara and New Plymouth with a blood alcohol level four times over the legal limit.

Coroner Tim Scott said: "It is possible Yatharth was just unlucky, but it is much more likely that he was either a slow learner or an alcoholic or a repeat drunk driver or all three.

"He had no business being anywhere near a motor vehicle in his condition."

Mr Scott also noted there was an unconfirmed cannabis reading from Yatharth Vats' post mortem toxicology.

The report said the other driver, 22-year-old- Nepalese international student Shamuel BK, was neither speeding nor drunk and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mr Scott said the road was not challenging and there was no obvious reason for the vehicles to collide.

He found both men died at the scene as a result of their injuries.

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