A trucking company has been warned against covering left-hand cabin windows with advertising material after one of its drivers was convicted of killing a cyclist because he did not see her before making a left turn.

John William Herridge, 75, was last year sentenced on a charge of careless driving causing the death of 22-year-old student nurse Sharla Phyllis Haerewa in Christchurch last April.

In a coroner's report into her death released today, it was revealed the passenger door window of Herridge's truck was "covered with advertising material".

"This cabin area has limited visibility because of the height of the window and the position of the mirrors," road crash investigator Senior Sergeant John Courtney Isitt said in his report, submitted to the inquest.


"The transom window on the passenger's door was covered over with advertising material. This also limited the ability of Mr Herridge being able to see if anyone was to the left of the cabin area."

He concluded that Herridge "failed to notice the presence of two cycles" before making his left turn.

Ms Haerewa was cycling to work at Christchurch Hospital, slightly behind another cyclist, about 6am on April 2, 2014, when she was hit by the truck on Lincoln Rd. Her bike had working front and rear lights, and she had an additional light on her florescent-covered backpack.

Meanwhile, Herridge, a driver for local delivery firm Bidvest, had missed his turn into Hillmorton Hospital that morning, so drove around the block and back onto Lincoln Rd.

He slowed down on his approach to the hospital, and then turned left directly into the path of Ms Haerewa.

"The front of his truck collided with the rider and her bicycle, dragging both under the truck for approximately 10 metres," the coroner's report said.

An off-duty paramedic and a police officer attempted first aid, but she died at the scene.
A post mortem examination found she died from severe chest injuries.

Herridge pleaded guilty in Christchurch District Court and was ordered to pay his victim's family $10,000 in emotional harm reparation, and was disqualified from driving for a period of eight months.


Coroner David Crerar said he was satisfied the cause and manner of Ms Haerewa's death were dealt with by the district court, and he did not need to make a formal finding.

However, he said he would forward a copy of his report to Herridge's former employer to "ensure the visibility of a driver operating a truck in similar configuration to that of the Mitsubishi which was involved in this fatality is not, in future, compromised by the windows of the truck on its left-hand side being limited by the affixing of advertising material".

A copy would also be sent to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Comment was being sought from trucking firm and Ms Haerewa's family.