A semi-retired Christchurch photographer who stopped to take pictures at a landmark bridge died after running into the path of a car that was trying to avoid him.
Graham Tuaraki Radcliffe, 66, died in Christchurch Hospital on November 8, 2010 after receiving impact injuries to his head and brain and a left arm fracture in the incident five days earlier.
Mr Radcliffe and his wife were travelling south along State Highway 6 when they approached the single-lane road and rail Taramakau Bridge, south of Greymouth about 6.45pm.
A finding by Coroner Richard McElrea said Mr Radcliffe parked on the side of the road near the northern entrance to the bridge so he could take photos because the light was good. He walked across the road toward the bridge before taking photos.
At about 6.58pm Mr Radcliffe started to walk back across the road to his vehicle before he inadvertently moved into the path of a Subaru Impreza that had swerved to avoid him.
The driver of the station wagon was a 16-year-old male who held a restricted driver's licence.
According to Coroner McElrea, the driver stated that as he was coming off the northern end of the bridge, he saw a man standing in the middle of the road and swerved to avoid him.
Mr Radcliffe was taken to Greymouth Hospital before being transferred to Christchurch Hospital the following day.
A witness in another vehicle said they saw Mr Radcliffe close to the end of the bridge.
"As he neared the centre of the road he looked towards the bridge, he quickly turned and ran back the way he came. At the same time I saw a vehicle exit the bridge. It was swerving towards the west side of the road. The man ran straight into the front of the vehicle."
Tasman Police Senior Constable Simon Burbery said it was likely Mr Radcliffe felt threatened because of the "relatively high speed of the Subaru with no apparent signs displayed by the driver of having any awareness of the potential danger of the situation (such as slowing down)".
The report concluded that Mr Radcliffe placed himself in a vulnerable position by moving out to the middle of the road.
Coroner McElrea said the causes of death were clear and there were no suggestions Mr Radcliffe had consumed any alcohol or was impaired in any way.
star smp crBy Samantha McPherson of the Christchurch Star