A toxicology report on the Tauranga teen who died in a car crash after a short police pursuit showed he had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.

The coroner's inquest into the death of 18-year-old Levi Penberthy-Green heard he was driving with 130mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. It was illegal for drivers his age to have any alcohol in their bloodstream, and the limit for adults was 50mg per 100ml.

Police crash analyst Senior Constable Christopher Hills told Coroner Michael Robb that Mr Penberthy-Green also had 11 micrograms of THC per litre of blood. THC was the active ingredient of cannabis, and the level was the equivalent of having smoked a joint within two hours of his death.

He died from unsurvivable injuries on his way to hospital after being thrown out of his powerful Nissan Cifero as it rolled down a bank, 170m from the party in Mountain Rd, Oropi.

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His death two years ago sparked speculation among friends and family that the pursuing police car had bumped the rear of his car and caused it to leave the road.

This was denied in evidence given last week to the hearing by both the rookie constable at the wheel of the police car and his training officer in the passenger seat.

The last day of the inquest yesterday heard from expert police and automotive witnesses called to assist Mr Robb reach conclusions into the circumstances and cause of the crash on April 10, 2015.

Mr Hills, who examined the crash scene, estimated that Mr Penberthy-Green needed to have reached a speed of about 72km/h travelling on the correct side of the road to have lost traction on the corner. The car took out a roadside fence post before rolling down the hill.

An inspection of the unwarranted and unregistered Cifero found it to be in "poor condition".

Mr Hills said the rear brakes were not working and there was no fluid in the rear chamber servicing the brakes, with minimal fluid in the front chamber. The brakes' split system showed no signs of leakage from the rollover.

Mr Robb heard there was a significant amount of brake pedal travel, tyres were mismatched, tread ran the wrong way on one of the tyres, and four wheel-nuts were missing including two nuts from one of the rear wheels.

Half the exhaust system had been removed so that it vented below the driver's seat.

There were also two significant modifications including replacing the automatic transmission with a manual gearbox, with the brake pedal crudely modified to make room for the clutch pedal. The handbrake, originally applied using a foot lever, had been replaced with a hand lever.

Police said scrape marks found on the underside of fairing on the front of the patrol car that pursued Mr Penberthy-Green had been caused by the dip in the driveway at the Greerton Police Station.


There were no marks on the front of the fairing and police said an inspection of the vehicle showed no signs of any damage consistent with shunting the Cifero. The Cifero was being driven without a rear bumper, meaning that the metal would have left marks on the police Commodore.

Evidence from New Zealand Transport Authority certification officer Andrew Lister was that the car would have failed a warrant of fitness.

Mr Robb reserved his decision.