Waikato hit and run charges dropped
Fri, 13 Jul 2012 8:02p.m.
Police say they withdrew charges against a driver accused of a fatal hit-and-run in Waikato earlier this year because the driver may not have seen his black-clad victim lying down on a dark road.
William Hoskins, from Hastings, was run over about 4.30am on January 15, on a 100km/h stretch of State Highway 1B near Cambridge, about 150m from the venue of his cousin's wedding.
The 26-year-old was still alive when found by a passing motorist but died shortly after emergency services arrived.
David Gregory Mascelle, 47, was charged with careless driving causing death, but police have now withdrawn the charge.
Superintendent Win van der Velde, who waited until Mr Hoskins' family was told why the charge was dropped before making it public, said it was likely Mr Hoskins was lying down on the road in the dark when he was struck by a Ford Falcon utility towing a trailer.
Supt van der Velde said Mr Mascelle did stop but didn't notice Mr Hoskins.
"Given the minimal damage suffered to the front spoiler of his vehicle and the belief he had struck a pot hole or rubbish bag, the driver carried on his way."
Tests by a police crash analyst and a lighting expert found there was not a reasonable prospect of a conviction on the charge laid.
Police decided against a charge of failing to stop, ascertain injury or render assistance, saying a prosecution cannot be made if the driver wasn't aware they hit a person or vehicle.
Supt van der Velde said the death wasn't the first of its kind and should be a reminder to pedestrians to stay clear of the road and not to expect to be seen at night wearing dark clothing.
Police will continue to be involved in the investigation on behalf of the coroner.
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15/07/2012 8:47:41 a.m.
D Montague wrote:
This was a tragic accident that will continue to impact both families involved. The article mentions how this should be a reminder for pedestrians to stay clear of the road at night. Hopefully, it will also serve as a reminder to family members to take care of their own rather than allowing them to wonder home, intoxicated and alone.
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