Man drank himself to death

Last updated 12:51 22/11/2012

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A man drank himself to death in an attempt to win a pool table, a coroner has found.

Sanson freezing worker Joshua Leigh Taunoa, 26, died on the pool table he tried to win on the morning of Tuesday July 10, following a night of heavy drinking challenges.

Coroner Tim Scott said Taunoa's tragic death was a result of him being grossly intoxicated.

"In simple and real terms Joshua drank himself to death."

Taunoa's Monday night of drinking began at a family dinner in Palmerston North, a continuation of weekend family celebrations.

After the dinner Taunoa and three other young men went back to a family member's home in Feilding and Taunoa purchased one dozen beers from a liquor store.

At 10pm the four men began to play cards, drinking what they bought as well as duty-free spirits.

There was evidence that the men were playing drinking games and that Taunoa lost many times, Mr Scott said.

Taunoa decided he wanted to try and win the pool table in the garage.

He made the suggestion that if he could drink a whole bottle of vodka, he could have it.

The others - also intoxicated - agreed to the bargain and Taunoa began to drink.

He got through half of the bottle before the others took it away from him.

Taunoa, now very intoxicated, went to sleep on top of the pool table after the three men made him up a bed.

They turned him on his side so he would not choke on his vomit.

At 6am the next morning a female family member went into the garage and saw Taunoa snoring on the pool table.

At about 8am another family member discovered him and CPR was attempted.

Emergency services were called but Taunoa could not be revived.

Taunoa's blood alcohol reading at the time of death was 333 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - more than four times the legal limit for driving.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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