Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Crash victim died from brain injury

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Police prosecuted the woman found to be responsible for a road crash that killed two men. File photo supplied

A coroner has determined an east Auckland man killed in a 2020 car crash died due to a traumatic brain injury.

The findings of an inquiry by coroner Louella Dunn into the death of Weiguo Xi have been publicly released.

It says Xi was 48-years-old and living with his wife and their two children in Half Moon Bay at the time of his death.

He and another man, Yuezhong Wang, 48, died in a crash on State Highway 1 in Tokoroa, Waikato, on July 21, 2020.

Dunn’s findings say Xi and Wang were passengers in a Toyota Prius vehicle travelling south when an oncoming vehicle travelling northbound crossed the centreline.

That vehicle struck a truck in front of the Toyota Prius and then collided with their vehicle.

A post-mortem report by pathologist Dr Mark Wickham found Xi died due to a traumatic brain injury.

Wickham found Wang died due to a torn aortic root with haemophericardium, a condition that affects the cardiovascular system.

On the day of the crash, Xi and Wang were travelling with a third person from Auckland to Wellington to participate in a protest against the Chinese Government as part of a pro-democracy political group.

Xi was in the front passenger seat of the Toyota and Wang was in the back seat, with a third person driving, at about 1pm.

Their car was struck by a Holden Colorado utility vehicle being driven by a woman with her 17-year-old daughter as a passenger.

“While negotiating a moderate left bend on the road, the Holden crossed the centre line into the path of the Mercedes [truck] causing a right-to-right, sideswipe collision,” the coroner’s findings state.

“The Holden then continued travelling in the southbound lane, colliding with the Toyota in a left-to-left side head-on collision.

“As a result of the collision, the Holden ended up sitting at a right angle to the road in a ditch, while the Toyota was overturned in the middle of the road.”

Xi and Wang’s injuries were unsurvivable and they died at the scene.

The driver of their vehicle was treated by ambulance staff before being taken to Waikato Hospital before being transferred to Auckland City Hospital where he continued to receive care.

The driver of the truck and his passenger were not injured.

The woman driving the Holden Colorado and her daughter were injured and taken to Waikato Hospital.

Samples of blood taken from the woman driving the Holden ute were found to be negative for alcohol.

The police serious crash investigation unit advised the coroner the road surface was in good condition and did not contribute to the crash.

“The serious crash unit did not believe excessive speed was a factor in the collision, noting the Holden’s speedometer needle was frozen at 90km/h which is a good indicator of speed at the time of impact.”

“The serious crash unit did not consider alcohol or drugs to be a factor contributing to the crash.”

Following a police investigation, the woman who was driving the Holden ute was charged with two counts of careless driving causing death.

She appeared in the Tokoroa District Court in March last year and was sentenced to community work, reparation and disqualified from driving.

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