The use of seatbelts could have prevented the death of a Napier woman and a Hastings teenager who died in a crash on Sandy Rd, Meanee in 2018, a coroner has found.
A witness to the crash stated: "the ... car was 'flying' as it looked like it did not have traction on the road ... it was going very fast and definitely above the recommended 65 km/h."
The report, by Coroner JP [Peter] Ryan, stated that at about 4.35pm on August 2, 2018, a car being driven by Janina Karyn Pascoe, 31 of Napier, collided with an oncoming vehicle while heading south on Sandy Rd at Meeanee, Napier.
Pascoe suffered multiple injuries and Matiu Areke Aaron Whatarau, 17, of Hastings, a passenger in Pascoe's vehicle, also suffered multiple injuries.
Pascoe and Whatarau, who were not wearing seatbelts, died at the scene.
A witness at the scene of the crash compared the vehicles to "crumpled tin cans".
The report stated the factors behind the crash included Pascoe driving an unregistered and unwarranted vehicle, being drug-impaired, (methamphetamine, morphine and cannabis), driving at excessive speed and not wearing seatbelts.
"The crash occurred because her vehicle crossed the centre line as it exited a sweeping
65 km/h advisory left-hand bend, and collided with a Ford Ranger utility motor vehicle being driven in the opposite direction," the report stated.
The other driver had no opportunity to avoid the collision.
A witness driving on Sandy Rd had noticed a faded yellow or cream car [Pascoe's car] about 100 metres in front of her as she passed the Meeanee Speedway.
She stated the people in the car "looked like they were happy. It seemed like the car was bopping up and down, just like they were dancing or moving around with the music. It was just like you see in the movies - the car was bopping up and down.
"It all happened so fast but I just could not believe how fast they disappeared in front of me. As I came around the bend the next thing I saw was the yellow car hitting the white ute that was coming towards them."
Pascoe was driving a vehicle that no Warrant of Fitness or registration.
At the time of the collision, her licence had expired. She had also been disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a driver's licence on six separate occasions since 2005.
A post-mortem examination determined the cause of Pascoe's death was multiple injuries.
The coroner said neither Whatarau nor Pascoe were wearing seatbelts.
"I consider it possible that their deaths may have been prevented had they been restrained by seatbelts, as is required by law."
The road that claimed the lives of the duo is part of a 5.5km route on Sandy and Brookfields roads between Pakowhai and Meeanee roads which claimed seven lives in five fatal crashes in just over 11 years since May 2007 to 2018, one of the worst records in New Zealand for any stretch of non-state highway road.
The route has a speed limit of 100km/h, but a recommended maximum speed of 65km/h on the bend.
All of the fatalities happened at separate sites. Three deaths were in two crashes on the northernmost Napier City Council side of the 300m long, one-way Brookfields Bridge, and four in the Hastings District Council sector of Brookfields Rd.