Cause of fatal crash still a mystery

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 13:31 10/03/2014
Barry Whitcombe
Supplied
TRAGIC: Barry Thomas Whitcombe, 55, died when his vehicle plunged 30 metres off the Mt Hutt access road.

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The cause of a crash that killed an Ashburton man on Mt Hutt is still unknown.

Barry Whitcombe was killed when his four-wheel-drive vehicle crashed 30 metres off the Mt Hutt access road on March 5.

The 55-year-old was an experienced grader driver and had been driving to his contracting job at the Mt Hutt ski area when the crash happened about 7am. 

Crash investigator Senior Constable John Isitt said it was not yet known what caused Whitcombe to crash straight off a sweeping right-hand bend.

"The autopsy didn't indicate any medical event."

Whitcombe was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, but investigators believed it was unlikely the outcome would have been different if he had not been thrown from the vehicle.

His death had been referred to the coroner. 

"Now it's just a matter of gathering all the evidence and statements from the witnesses."

Isitt said Whitcombe's death was not counted as part of New Zealand's official road toll because it happened on a private road. 

Margaret Whitcombe last week told The Press her husband was a much-loved family man and father of six children aged 19 to 35.

His funeral was being held in Ashburton today.

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- The Press

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