Father tells coroner of daughter's state of mind before fatal crash that killed a Napier kindergarten teacher

By -
Add a comment
Lyree Sayers says she remembers nothing about a crash that claimed the life of Pam McGarva in 2014.
Lyree Sayers says she remembers nothing about a crash that claimed the life of Pam McGarva in 2014.

A coroner has heard that the father of a woman involved in a car crash, which killed a Napier kindergarten teacher, made a 111 call because she was suicidal.

Patrick Sayers earlier told the hearing that his daughter Lyree Sayers had bouts of depression but she mostly seemed fine.

He said she never discussed suicide with him, and he didn't know about any suicide attempts.

Hawke's Bay Area Commander Inspector Tania Kura told the hearing on Wednesday that she spoke to Mr Sayers on the night of the crash.

Inspector Kura said Mr Sayers told her he wouldn't be surprised if Lyree had tried to commit suicide by crashing.

Mr Sayers told the hearing yesterday that Inspector Kura was mistaken in her evidence, and those were not his actual remarks.

"Everything was just shooting through my mind of possibilities that could have happened."

He said one of his thoughts was that Lyree might have swerved on to the other side of the road because she had depression and children with depression sometimes commit suicide.

He said it was just one possibility he thought might have happened. The other idea he said he had, was that she was distracted because she was upset after arguing with her partner, and she wasn't paying full attention to the road.

He said he didn't mean for one moment that she had actually done it.

He repeatedly told the hearing when questioned by Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker, that he didn't know his daughter was suicidal before the crash, nor that she had tried to kill herself in the past.

A phone call between Mr Sayers and police was then played to the Coroner's hearing. This phone call was not allowed to be used as evidence during Ms Sayers' manslaughter trial last year.

It was a call Mr Sayers made to police two years before the crash, when Ms Sayers had been living in Auckland with her then partner. Her partner had called Mr Sayers because she had taken off in her car and was upset.

In the call to emergency services, Mr Sayers said his daughter had just threatened to kill herself. He told the call-taker that "she has been psychotic on and off for a number of years".

He said Lyree had been in contact with her brother and had been telling him more and more that she wanted to kill herself.

In the 2014 phone call, Mr Sayers warned police "there's also a chance she might just drive into someone and kill herself or someone else".

After hearing the phone call played to the Coroner's hearing, Mr Sayers said he wasn't lying when he earlier stated he didn't know his daughter was suicidal.

Mr Sayers said he can't remember Lyree having suicidal thoughts. He said his memory from that time could still be scrambled.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker said to him, that after Ms Sayers was charged with manslaughter, he "did not want to help police in any way with what he knew about her".

"I can't remember that at all," Mr Sayers said.

Coroner Tim Scott has reserved his decision.


Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 29 Mar 2017 06:56:23 Processing Time: 667ms