A man who chewed gum "all the time" died after choking on a piece in bed.
Coroner Tom Scott found the probable cause of death of Stephen Ngatai, 60, of Patea, in south Taranaki, was asphyxiation by a food bolus - or choking on a lump of chewing gum.
Ngatai, a milk tanker driver, was found dead in his bed on February 22 this year by his brother James Old, who had thought he was asleep.
Old worked in a garden with Ngatai on February 20, and looked in on him the next day but saw him lying on his bed so left him alone. The following day, after being alerted that Ngatai had not shown up for work, Old went to check on him and found him dead.
A ball of what appeared to be chewing gum, but was described by an ambulance officer as dried saliva, could be seen on Ngatai's lips.
Old told the coroner's staff his brother chewed gum all the time.
Scott said he was sure the gum was the key to Ngatai's death. "Stephen was chewing gum in bed and choked - possibly because he fell asleep doing so."
- © Fairfax NZ News
How important is NZ's anti-nuclear policy to you?Related story: It's all good, just don't mention the nukes
Will Yahoo ruin Tumblr?
Breaking Bad is back!
The vanilla Budget
A day of building in time-lapse video
The cookbooks that made me
Monarch magical mystery tour
Microsoft reveals Xbox One
Born Sandy Devotional
Books you should read ... in your 20s
The groom's perspective of weddings