Engineer seeking justice for victim's family says first finding was wrong and truth will 'come out' at inquest.
A new inquest will be held this month into the death of a young father in a horror motorway incident 17 years ago.
Pukekohe plasterer John Edward "Eddie" Tavinor was decapitated when part of a driveshaft came through the windscreen of his ute as he drove in the northbound lanes of Auckland's Southern Motorway, between the Mt Wellington and Penrose off-ramps, on the morning of November 20, 2000.
Tavinor's partner, Michelle Foord, gave birth to their third child 10 days later.
An articulated Mitsubishi truck travelling in the opposite direction lost a portion of its driveshaft's front universal joint and it struck Tavinor. In an inquest two years after the death, three expert witnesses agreed the driveshaft separated because of bearing failure, with wear and tear on a bearing "well in excess" of the manufacturer's limits and which should have been detectable during work on the vehicle at Roadlife Services 11 days before the failure.
But an eight-month police investigation ended with no charges and, in his 2003 finding, Coroner Murray Jamieson said the workshop failure was less important than the "substantial and remediable defects" in the road haulage industry.
The circumstances surrounding the tragedy were not confined to a single brand of driveshaft, workshop or company, he said.
Those circumstances will again go under the microscope on November 27 when a new inquest begins before Coroner Gordon Matenga in the Auckland District Court. The hearing, expected to last a week, comes after engineers Peter Morgan, of Auckland, and Timothy Smithson, of Hamilton, made a submission to Crown Law in 2013 asking for a new inquest.
When contacted by the Herald, Morgan would only say he believed the original finding wasn't correct: "It will all come out at the inquest."
Morgan told the Listener in 2015 his submission to Crown Law challenged the expert witnesses' conclusion the bearing failed and the driveshaft separated from the truck as a result of wear and tear.
"If heavy trucks' universal joints indeed disintegrate as a consequence of the failure of one or more needle roller bearings in the front universal joint cross, the roads of New Zealand and the rest of the world would be littered with parts of universal joints and driveshafts. Clearly, they are not," he told the Listener.
The men were "seeking the truth ... to get justice for the family", Morgan, who has a degree in mechanical engineering and has worked both directly in the industry and in teaching its skills, told the Herald.
"That's what drives us. We're not doing it for money, we don't get paid."
He was not sure how many hours the men, both pensioners, had devoted to their investigation, except that it had been "one helluva lot" over the last decade.
"It's a huge challenge. I've just turned 77 and it's one of my passions. [Going into court] I'll have a spring in my step and a smile on my face."
Tavinor's father, Winston, and partner Michelle Foord declined to comment when approached by the Herald.
Foord confirmed she was in touch with Morgan and that he was speaking on their behalf.
After the first inquest, Mitsubishi Motors told the Herald a specialised training programme covering servicing and maintenance of driveshafts had been implemented. A hoop around the driveshafts of all new trucks had also been installed for extra safety.
Jamieson also recommended at that time the then-Land Transport Safety Authority distribute his finding to the haulage industry.