Fatal turn cost Wairarapa man his life

Last updated 05:00 20/08/2012

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Turning towards a fruit and vegetable stall on State Highway 1 cost an 83-year-old Masterton motorist his life, a coroner has found.

A truck and trailer travelling south collided with the motorhome Trevor Sturgess was driving, just south of Levin on May 14.

The truck driver said the motorhome had pulled over to the left-hand side of the road and started to pull out, as though attempting a U-turn.

The truck driver, travelling about 80 to 85kmh, swerved right but could not avoid a crash. The truck dragged the motorhome about 60 metres along the highway before the motorhome crashed into railway crossing warning bells.

Mr Sturgess was thrown from the vehicle and died from multiple injuries. A passenger suffered serious injuries, and did not remember the crash.

Coroner Tim Scott said it was likely Mr Sturgess either did not see the approaching truck, or miscalculated the distance as he attempted to cross the highway into the car park of a fruit and vegetable stall.

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