Falling car killed man – coroner
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 1:54p.m.
A drunk Invercargill driver was killed when his car rolled on to him as he tried to free himself following an accident, a coroner has ruled.
Rodney Aaron Spiers, 40, was heading southeast from Invercargill with a friend in September last year when the car he was driving swerved and became stuck on an embankment on the right side of the road.
A report released by Coroner David Crerar today says passenger David McClelland got out of the car without injury, but when Mr Spiers tried to do the same the car toppled down a steep slope onto his side of the car.
Mr Spiers' head and neck became wedged between his partially opened door and the roof of the car when it hit the ground and he suffocated.
Mr McClelland says the pair had been drinking a significant amount of rum and beer before the accident on Waikawa Valley Rd, about 80km southeast of Invercargill.
Autopsy results found Mr Spiers had been nearly three times over the legal alcohol driving limit when he died.
Mr Crerar ruled that Mr Spiers died from positional asphyxiation, that he had driven while intoxicated and that alcohol contributed to his death.
"It is sad to have lost him, but if his death can be a lesson let it be a lesson to others that driving and drinking do not mix," Mr Crerar said in his ruling.
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