Hit man was drunk to 'extreme' levels

Last updated 12:56 28/11/2013

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A Wellington man who died after being hit by a car was so drunk he thought he was in Dunedin.

Geoffrey Nicholas Peren, a 20-year-old student, died after stepping onto the road at the intersection of Taranaki and Arthur streets against the flow of traffic on 4 June 2011.

In his findings released today, Coroner Ian Smith said Peren had been drinking spirits at a friend's toga party at a flat on the eastern side of the Basin Reserve.

After leaving the party without telling anyone, he rang his girlfriend who was asleep in her bed at her Dunedin flat.

Seeming to think he was in Dunedin, his girlfriend tried to establish where Peren was before she heard a bang and the phone went silent.

Peren, who was wearing dark-coloured clothing, had stepped onto the signalised pedestrian crossing while the signal was red and directly into the path of a vehicle approaching from the right.

Suffering a serious head injury, a blood sample taken at the emergency department showed a blood alcohol level of 305 milligrams per litre of blood, a level deemed to be "clinically extreme and a potentially lethal level of intoxication".

The driver of the car that struck Peren was later charged in relation to the crash, but the charge was later dropped.

Smith said the driver's partner, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the accident, had written to him raising concerns about the police investigation but decisions about whether to prosecute or not were not a matter for the Coroner's Court to consider.

Peren died in hospital two weeks after the accident.

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- Fairfax Media

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