Teen asleep on road dies after being run over

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2013
teen run over rangiora
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ

MYSTERY DEATH: Police examine the road were the teenager was killed in Rangiora.

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A teenager run over while lying on a road in North Canterbury had been at a friend's house hours earlier and it is likely he had been drinking.

Police believe Joshua Jamie Gardiner, 17, from Woodend, was on his way home when he fell asleep on Boys Rd, near Rangiora, and was struck by a vehicle about 3.30am yesterday.

Senior Sergeant Malcolm Johnston appealed for sightings of the teenager riding a bicycle with no lights after he left a friend's house in Rangiora about 12.15am.

The bicycle was later found abandoned in bush and police believe Gardiner used it during part of his journey.

It was likely he had been drinking but that would not be confirmed until the results of tests were known, Johnston said.

The 47-year-old driver of the four-wheel-drive was on his way to work when the crash occurred.

"At the last minute he's seen something dark lying on the road, but didn't have time to stop," Johnston said. "The driver is extremely distraught and quite traumatised as you would expect."

The rural road was a 100 kmh area and conditions were good apart from light fog at the time.

The teenager was wearing dark clothing, which would have made him difficult to see, Johnston said.

The driver was breath tested and no alcohol was found in his system.

An autopsy was carried out yesterday and the victim identified using fingerprints.

The police serious crash unit was investigating.

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- The Press

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