Careless driving charges axed
A police investigation into the death of William Hoskins found he was likely lying on the road and wearing dark clothing on the night he was run over, police have confirmed.
Mr Hoskins, 26, died after being run over on Marychurch Rd, Matangi, early on January 15. He had been celebrating his cousin's wedding about 150m up the road.
Police last week dropped all charges against Matangi man David Gregory Mascelle, 47, who was accused of careless driving causing Mr Hoskins' death.
Mr Hoskins' family were informed of the reasons police decided to withdraw the charges against Mr Mascelle last week. His father, Greg, last night described the decision as a "big joke".
A police statement, including various details provided by District Commander Superintendent Win van der Velde, now reveals further details relating to the incident.
Mr van der Velde said it was likely Mr Hoskins was lying down on the 100kmh stretch of road and was wearing dark clothing when he was struck by a Ford Falcon towing a trailer.
"The driver of the utility stopped a short distance from where Mr Hoskins had been struck," Mr van der Velde said.
"Given the minimal damage suffered to the front spoiler of his vehicle and the belief he had struck a pot hole or rubbish bag, the driver carried on his way."
A passing motorist found Mr Hoskins lying over the centre line of the road.
The statement said that media coverage of the investigation prompted Mr Mascelle's wife, Ngaire, who was a passenger at the time of the crash, to contact police. Mr Mascelle handed himself in the day following the accident and a charge of careless driving causing death was laid.
But a Serious Crash report completed on May 17 raised "serious questions" about whether Mr Hoskins could be seen in his dark clothing on the night he died.
Mr van der Velde said the police investigation also took into account the poor lighting on the road, and that it was dark.
"An important issue to come out of this was whether, in the circumstances, the driver would have had sufficient time to react and take action to avoid a collision."
A review of the crash report, further analysis, witness interviews and legal advice determined that a con viction was unlikely, police said.
Mr van der Velde said Mr Mascelle was not charged with failing to stop, ascertain injury or render assistance because "there must be an awareness by the driver that they have hit a person or a vehicle".
A Coronial Inquest will be held into Mr Hoskins' death.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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