Driver issued glasses after fatal crash

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 13:28 08/07/2014
Ian Farrelly
FAIRFAX NZ
VICTIM'S HUSBAND: Ian Farrelly
Larry Boulcott
FAIRFAX NZ
TRUCK DRIVER: Larry Boulcott

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The driver of a large truck and trailer unit that struck and killed a South Auckland cyclist near Taupo was issued glasses not long after the crash.

Jane Ann Farrelly, 50, was cycling with her husband, Ian, and a group of five other friends on Poihipi Rd when she was hit by a Evergreen Landcare Ltd truck, driven by Larry James Boulcott on March 16 last year.

Boulcott was never charged by police in relation to the crash.

The truck and trailer unit was classified by police as being overdimensional due to the extra width from carrying hay bales and a bulldozer.

Boulcott took to the stand in an inquest into Farrelly's death in Hamilton this morning.

When questioned by the Farrelly family lawyer, Desley Horton, Boulcott said he was told to start wearing glasses after an eye examination last August. Since then his optician has insisted he wear glasses when driving.

Boulcott admitted not having an eye examination for at least five years before the crash.

When asked what checks he did on his overdimensional truck and trailer unit, he replied just ''oil and water''.

Boulcott also said the group were riding two abreast as they went up the hill, rather than in single file as all of the cyclists have earlier testified. Yolande Savage was the first to give evidence this morning.

She was cycling directly behind Jane Farrelly when she saw her stand up out of her seat, turning her head about 90 degrees to the right.

''She moved the rest of her body as she turned right,'' Savage said.

Coroner Gordon Matenga asked Savage whether the truck had given Jane Farrelly a fright.

Savage said it had and caused her to wobble slightly.

She then saw Jane Farrelly lift both hands before she was hit.

Ian Farrelly, along with four other cyclists,  yesterday told Coroner Gordon Matenga that they didn't hear Boulcott's truck as it approached them from behind.

Savage said she never heard the truck either.

''I first became aware of the truck because I could see him out of the corner of my eye, it was beside me and then I saw him hit Jane.''

She said the truck was ''very close'' to her as he went past.

''I could probably have almost reached out and touched it.''

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The group of cyclists were to take part in Annies Girls on Bikes ride - a 92km ride for women but it was cancelled due to a lack of numbers.

As the group had already booked their accommodation, they decided to travel down and do it anyway.

The inquest is likely to finish today.

- Waikato Times

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