Police say more serious charges are likely to be laid against the allegedly drunk driver of a car that yesterday ploughed into two women having a coffee by the side of the road, fatally injuring one of them.
Shelagh Cotter, 69, died in Palmerston North Hospital about 3am today, about 15 hours after she and a 62-year-old companion were struck by an out-of-control car as they sat on a grass verge on a rural road just south of Otaki before midday.
The two women, who had been visiting local gardens, were preparing their coffee when a Subaru station wagon came around a bend and lost control, crashing into the rear of the parked car and throwing Mrs Cotter, who had been sitting in the driver's seat, into a nearby paddock.
The 37-year-old Subaru driver, from Lower Hutt, was allegedly three times over the drink-drive limit and had already been charged with drink-driving, said central police spokeswoman Kim Perks.
"More charges are likely to follow."
The man will appear in Levin District Court on November 25.
Mrs Cotter's companion had been sitting on the grass and also suffered injuries. She was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was in a serious condition.
The driver of the Subaru suffered minor injuries.