Police ignored experts: Lawyer


Two expert reports about an incident in which a Hastings man was run over on a Waikato road were ignored by a police crash analyst, a coroner's inquest has been told.

David Mascelle was towing an 800kg loaded trailer when he hit former Karamu High School student William Gregory Hoskins, 26, at Matangi about 4.40am on January 15 last year.

Detective Will Loughrin yesterday told an inquest in Hamilton into Mr Hoskins' death that a report detailing the effectiveness of Mr Mascelle's headlights and the streetlight where Mr Hoskins (pictured) was found was emailed to the crash analyst investigating the accident.

But neither this report nor another completed by John Holderness, who looked into the vehicular aspects of the accident, was taken into consideration when analyst Constable Rebecca Dearing made her final conclusions.

The constable's experience, or lack of such, and omissions from her findings were questioned on the first day of the inquest on Tuesday.

Mr Hoskins, who had attended a nearby wedding, died at the scene on Marychurch Rd, Matangi.

It is understood he was in the process of returning to a motel in Cambridge where family members were staying.

A forensic pathologist's findings showed that Mr Hoskins died of multiple internal injuries.

The pathologist said it was not possible to exclude the possibility he was standing at the time he was run over but his injuries were more indicative that he had been lying down.

Police investigated but ruled out the possibility of suicide.

Mr Loughrin said that despite an extensive legal review of the case, police did not have enough evidence to charge Mr Mascelle with failing to stop and ascertain injury.

He said Mr Mascelle's actions at a BP service station in Cambridge a few minutes later, when he checked his vehicle for damage, weren't indicative of a person who thought he had hit another human being.

Ross Oliver, a consultant engineer who analysed the cumulative effect of illumination from a street light close to where Mr Hoskins was found, as well as Mr Mascelle's headlights, said if Mr Mascelle had been driving with his lights on full beam he would have increased his visibility five-fold.

Mr Oliver said Mr Mascelle's headlights were dipped at the time of the accident and were incorrectly aligned, with one aimed too low - reducing the lighting intensity he had moving forward by half and giving him a line of sight of 44 metres.

But given that Mr Hoskins had been wearing a dark suit and was possibly lying on the black tarmac ahead of the streetlight, Mr Mascelle's ability to spot his body was "very limited".

The inquest, before Coroner Garry Evans, is set to conclude today.

 

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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