The driver who died in a crash and almost killed a pregnant woman and her toddler was under the influence of methamphetamine - and had caused a near identical crash at almost the same location while on drugs six weeks earlier.
Madeleine Nadine Higginson, 27, died instantly in a crash on Awhitu Rd on February 1 2017.
She had been to Waiuku that morning to pick up caramel slice and other treats for her new girlfriend, and was on her way home when she collided with another car.
The other driver - Desire Purnell who was pregnant - was badly injured and had to be cut from the vehicle.
Purnell's1-year-old son was asleep in his car seat, and not injured.
Higginson's death was referred to Coroner Debra Bell, whose inquest report was provided to the Herald this week.
Coroner Bell confirmed that the dairy farm worker was responsible for the crash after she failed to take a corner and crossed the centre line.
At the time of the crash Higginson had methamphetamine, amphetamine, cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol - the active ingredient of the plant - in her system.
'I sat with her for hours so she wasn't alone'. Awhitu crash victim found by childhood best friend
One dead, two seriously injured after two-car crash near Waiuku
Two years on: Surviving a fatal South Auckland crash and keeping 'miracle' baby
Death-smash driver's drug use: Son's plea after horror crash
Forensic toxicologist Dr Diana Kappatos said methamphetamine use resulted in "disorienting effects on cognition, reasoning and psycho-motor ability".
"It may be dangerous to drive after using psychostimulants due to possible overconfidence in driving skills that is not supported by an actual improvement in driving ability, unnecessary risk taking, aggressive and dangerous driving, impaired ability to react appropriately, and that the driver can suddenly fall asleep as the stimulant effects wear off," Coroner Bell said.
"Dr Kappatos further advised about the possible effects of cannabis.
"The dangers of driving after using cannabis are due to taking longer to respond to events, reduced ability to think clearly and to pay attention, and loss of coordination."
Coroner Bell said while Higginson's cause of death was injuries sustained in the crash but the drugs in her system contributed to the incident.
Higginson was one of 88 people who died in 2017 in crashes where drugs were involved.
The same year 74 people were killed in drink driving crashes.
And in 2018 71 people were killed in drug crashes compared to 109 deaths in alcohol crashes.
According to NZTA drug driving was an "increasing contribution" to the road toll.
In addition to her driving and drug use, Higginson was not wearing a seatbelt and may have been going too fast at the time.
Coroner Bell said it was "well known" that Higginson "drove very fast".
The 27-year-old had convictions from 2006 for driving dangerously causing injury or death and being over the legal breath alcohol limit at the time.
Coroner Bell said police serious crash investigators determined that Higginson was travelling between 73-84 km/h at the time of the crash.
"Whilst this is within the posted speed limit, it may have been inappropriate for the bend," she said.
"As such, speed could not be ruled out as a factor in the crash.
"Both fatigue and inattention were identified as possible contributing factors to the collision.
"Evidence of fatigue included Ms Higginson's lack of steering or braking to avoid the collision, her lack of sleep, and her consumption of methamphetamine and cannabis."
Higginson was not wearing a seatbelt when she crashed, but cellphone records confirmed she was not using her device at the time.
Coroner Bell revealed that Higginson was also involved in a "very similar" crash on the same road about two months before the fatal.
In that crash Higginson "veered across the centre line" and crashed into a bank on the opposite side of the road.
No other vehicles were involved.
"Ms Higginson told her partner that she had fallen asleep," said Coroner Bell.
"She was taken to hospital via the Westpac Helicopter. She had face, head and neck injuries.
"Ms Higginson voluntarily gave a blood sample at the hospital upon police request. This revealed that her blood contained methamphetamine and cannabis."
Despite Higginson's drug driving, Coroner Bell did not consider it necessary to make any comments or recommendations relating to her death.
"The message not to take drugs and drive is well known in our community and has been the subject of consistent publicity campaigns," she said.
"Similarly, the risks of not wearing a seatbelt and inappropriate speed are also well recognised and publicised."
The night before the crash happened Purnell discovered she was pregnant with her third child - son Evan.
Her two older sons Dylan and Liam were conceived with fertility treatment and the new pregnancy was her "miracle" baby.
She could not believe the unborn baby was not harmed in the crash - even though her stomach was severely bruised from her seatbelt.
She also broke five ribs, her collar bone, fractured her right foot, and dislocated a big toe.
Purnell - who still suffers pain and ongoing issues as a result of her injuries - hoped some good would come from Higginson's death and other lives could be saved through her story.
"I hope people learn from this," she said.
"You can't take back something that's happened, you can't change the actions that caused it to happen.
"But hopefully people look at this and think about what they are doing."
She felt for Higginson's family.
"The long term effects of something like that - it goes on," Purnell said.
"Her family don't have her forever now... for me, I have little panics when I am driving, I am terrified someone is going to cross the centreline and it will happen again.
"Whenever I read stories about other crashes, I feel it - it's like my heart breaks for the people involved, I feel it so deeply now."
An emergency services source with knowledge of both crashes said it was "frustrating" that Higginson had caused two crashes after using methamphetamine.
"I think the outcome was an inevitability as she had been driving like a maniac for some time before this," said the source.
"What really saddens me is the collective attitude of the community towards this situation - almost a head in the sand attitude.
"It was known Madeleine was on meth and driving the way she was and little or nothing was said or done about it."
The Government is currently considering making changes to New Zealand's drug driver testing and enforcement regime.
Following public consultation, options for change are expected to be confirmed at the end of the year.
Best friend comes across crash scene
The night before the fatal crash Higginson was helping her girlfriend - an old friend who she had been in a relationship with for five months - decorate her house.
Higginson was a "regular cannabis user" and consumed the drug at about 1pm.
The couple went to bed at 2am and Higginson got up at 6.30am and left the house at 8am.
It is though Higginson went to get groceries.
On her way home, she crashed and died.
Her childhood best friend Kayla McVeigh was one of the first people at the scene.
McVeigh's partner went straight to notify Higginson's girlfriend while she stayed at the scene.
Higginson was slumped over the centre console and passenger seat of the car and was already dead.
McVeigh stayed with her, not wanting her to be alone.
"I stayed there with her, there were emergency services people everywhere and I stayed so that she wasn't surrounded by strangers," she told the Herald after the crash.
"I couldn't get in the car with her, so I sat beside it. I spoke to her a little bit, at first I was so upset at her, really upset that she'd left me."