7 Dec 2015

Coroner's report on driving deaths released

7:18 pm on 7 December 2015

A coroner has found a New Plymouth man had an argument with his partner before speeding off in his car, killing a pedestrian and dying himself.

Coroner Christopher Devonport today released his findings into the deaths of Ronald Victor Millman and the 22-year-old driver, Alekh Acharya, who died following a crash on 25 April.

The coroner said Mr Acharya, who had a newborn baby, had argued with his partner.

She went for a walk and he followed her in his Toyota, before stopping on Frankley Road and telling her to get in.

When she refused to get in his car, he sped off and overtook two cars before swerving to get back into the northbound lane.

He narrowly missed colliding with one of the those cars and swerved, the report said.

He lost control and his vehicle ran onto the footpath, striking Mr Millman, throwing him 15m and fatally injuring him.

The car then struck a wooden retaining wall, and Mr Acharya died at the scene.

The coroner said the weather or mechanical faults were not factors in the crash.

The report said a couple with a five-month-old baby in a pushchair were walking in the same area as Mr Millman.

It also said, if the driver of the car Mr Acharya just missed had not braked heavily, the cars would have collided head-on.

The coroner said Mr Millman was an innocent victim in the situation.