Crash victims not drunk at pub – Putorino owner
Mon, 04 Jun 2012 6:13p.m.
By Tom McRae
The publican in a small Hawke’s Bay settlement where four men died early yesterday has spoken out over suggestions she served them too much alcohol before they drove to their deaths.
Tania Butcher says if her patrons are ever too drunk she'll drive them home herself.
The farmhands died at Putorino, north of Napier, four of seven deaths this holiday weekend.
Tania Butcher says she's a responsible host and never lets her patrons drive if they've had too much.
“You build up a good rapport with the community and it is disheartening to think you might not see them again,” she says. “So you put it in action that you're going to make sure they're all safe. They're important. They all play their role in the community as much as myself.”
Four locals ended up dead on Sunday morning after their car rolled just a few kilometres from their home. Police say alcohol was a major factor in the crash.
Ms Butcher says they weren't drunk when they left the pub at 7pm.
“They came in and just purchased a drink each and had a bit of a chat. Boydie, one of the chaps who passed away, him and I had a bit of a talk and I have an off-license as well. So they did purchase two boxes of 24s and they left and they were fine.”
Police named the four men as Lou Phillip Wesley, 47, Paul Thomas Parata (known as Boydie), 48, James Raupita, 42, and Jack Huata, 64.
They all worked and lived on a sheep station. They drove the road they died on every day.
“Jack was very good on the guitar,” says Ms Butcher. “Beautiful, beautiful natured person. Boydie and Jack never went anywhere without one another – great mates.”
There was a similar crash in January, where four men from the same sheep station died. Alcohol was blamed then too.
“They'll get a lot more proactive now,” says Ms Butcher. “It's not nice losing a family member – not at all.”
But that's the reality for another four families who are trying to come to grips with an accident that could have so easily been avoided.
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22/06/2012 10:05:21 a.m.
Teaoreremai Te Poangaroa wrote:
The bill boards read,"If you drink and drive you are a bloody idiot"
10/06/2012 12:47:18 p.m.
Micheal .... The facts are they purchased a bottle each they were all over the age of 40 all experienced work men and of sound mind and kaupapa ... I'm surprised they brought 1 bottle each knowing them like i do maybe 2 bottles between them and off back to the quarters to drink thier beerz that'z how it is now that beer is far too dear in a pub. I would find fault in the truck not the person driving it and anyone of them could drive that road better than most. This isn't some drink driving worse case scenario shit this is blummin tragic and it's about our vehicles too .. no way could they crash that bad without it being a fault of the truck ... u can get stuffed about the publican korero and protect her interest bloody pub is 10 bucks a bottle .. only cockey'z can afford that ... and a box is 50+ abox so why stay there and drink when u can purchase more and go home and b safe ...
4/06/2012 10:03:02 p.m.
I will say that the law is the law the fact that they were in the establishment and drinking at the bar is a fact that the DLA will consider as they will investigate the case.
Then they purchased 2 x 24pack of beer at the establishment and left.
The facts are to me were they already drinking before they arrived at the pub?
How long did they drink at the local for before leaving?
1- 2 drinks ?
I can see and understand how important it is to keep your Pub.
I just last week lost my work for serving a under ager who was dollied up to look 18 years og age and I at the time was busy changing labels and getting use to the fact I worked in a place that is under New ownership.
I belive it should not be your fault at all.
But in the eyes of the law they will look at you side ways and determine what action to take.
I was fired last week after being loyal for 3 years and in thwe past 10-20 years no criminal record or covictions at all.
I still belive they were wrong in firering me but they had the call to make.
Just for the record when the DLA do a sting it is called entrapment and in many countries it is against the law to do it.
stick by your gunns and do not give up.
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