A man was driving with a fogged-up windscreen and was towing an unwarranted trailer with faulty brakes when he ran over a wedding guest, an inquest has heard.
David Mascelle was towing an 800kg loaded trailer when he hit Hastings man William Gregory Hoskins, 26, at Matangi about 4.40am on January 15 last year.
The inquest at the Hamilton District Court yesterday heard how Mr Mascelle's windscreen was fogged up and he was adjusting his air-conditioning when the accident happened.
The 48-year-old, whose wife, community magistrate Ngaire Mascelle, was travelling with him, stopped about 100m down the road but did not go back to ascertain what had happened and continued on his journey to Wellington.
Serious crash analyst Constable Rebecca Dearing said Mr Mascelle's eyes were diverted from the road just before he ran over Mr Hoskins.
Mr Hoskins was wearing dark clothing, and even if Mr Mascelle had seen him with his headlights dipped it would have been difficult to stop "based on perception and reaction times".
But she conceded police did not know how fast Mr Mascelle was travelling.
She also agreed her calculations did not take account of what effect the street light that illuminated the place where Mr Hoskins was found would have had on visibility.
Earlier, milk tanker driver Campbell Primmer told the inquest he was returning to his home when he saw Mr Mascelle's car rise "up and down" at the corner of Marychurch and Bellevue Rds.
He immediately thought the driver of the vehicle had run over something or somebody.
The inquest will hear from a further five witnesses today including Mr Mascelle, who went to police on January 16.
He was charged with careless driving causing death but police dropped the charge about six months later.