Fallen tree caused death

A Tokoroa man who died after his delivery van collided with a fallen tree would not have been able to see it until it was too late, a coroner has ruled.

Herbert Lennon, 58, died in the early hours of September 3, 2010 while making a delivery run to Taumarunui Hospital.

In findings released yesterday, coroner Carla na Nagara said Mr Lennon's van struck a large tree that had fallen in heavy rain from the steep bank that bordered Kuruau Rd.

There was no evidence of excessive speed but the low-set position of the van's lights and the tree coming to rest 1.8 metres above the road meant it was unlikely Mr Lennon would have seen it until the last moment before he hit it, resulting in fatal neck injuries.