No evidence man killed by taxi ran out on purpose

By Mike Dinsdale

A Whangarei man was trying to cross the road when he was struck and killed by a taxi and there was no evidence to suggest the death was self-inflicted, a coroner has found.

Northland Coroner Brandt Shortland made the finding after an inquest into the death of Stuart William Chisnall, 43, in Whangarei Hospital on December 26, 2009.

In his decision, released this week, Mr Shortland said Mr Chisnall was taken to the hospital with severe head injuries after he dashed in front of a taxi on Tarewa Rd, just before the intersection of Tarewa Rd, shortly after 1am on December 24, 2009.

He said the taxi driver and passenger were heading towards Otaika Rd when "out of nowhere" Mr Chisnall ran in front of the cab, which hit him, throwing him on to the bonnet and windscreen.

Mr Shortland said there was no time for the taxi driver to take evasive action. An ambulance then took the badly injured man to the hospital, where he died in the early hours of December 26.

The coroner formally found that Mr Chisnall died from severe brain injury as a result of the impact.

"This was an unusual situation, whether it is deliberate or unintentional the evidence is silent on that matter," Mr Shortland said. "It appears [Mr Chisnall] was trying to cross the road from the city side of Otaika Rd to the Raumanga side of the street.

"In the circumstances ... there is no clear evidence to suggest this is self-inflicted, in my view this is an unintentional death."

- Northern Advocate

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