Anthony James Shramka died of multiple injuries after he inadvertently stepped into the path of a truck while trying to hitch a ride, the coroner has ruled.

Shramka, 27, was hit by a truck and trailer unit shortly after 10pm on March 10, 2014, on State Highway 3, Turakina.

Police investigated, but found no suspicious circumstances.

No illegal drugs were found in his blood - only medication used to treat psychosis, schizophrenia, mania and dementia. Caffeine and continine (a metabolic of nicotine) were also present.


Shramka was unemployed and transient at the time of his death, coroner Carla na Nagara said in her report, released today.

Shramka was living between his mother's house in Marton, his father's address in Hawera and a caravan park in Whanganui. He was known to hitchhike between the addresses.

Shramka was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia.

His relationship with his family was strained by his illness and his sometimes threatening and violent actions towards them.

A month before his death Shramka was admitted to te Awhina after he became angry, locked himself in his room and set his bed alight at his mother's house.

Admission notes from Te Awhina said it was "a suicide attempt by setting himself alight".

The fire caused extensive damage to the house and Shramka was later trespassed.

James Jones was driving transporting a full load of offal from Feilding to Whanganui and slowed to 70km/h before entered the Turakina township.


He saw a person on the left side of the road standing behind the white "fog line" near the old dairy.

The person was looking directly on to the road, and standing side-on to Jones as he approached.

Jones slowed down to 65 km/h as he thought the person might want a ride. Had the person stuck his thumb out, he would have picked him up, Jones said.

"As I got closer to the person I saw it was a male. He was standing near some lights so he was clearly seen.

"I saw the male turn his head to look at my truck. As I was about to drive past him, the male ran out in front of my truck at an angle towards my left light.

"I instantly pulled over into the centre of the road and slowed down to try and avoid him. I couldn't feel the truck run over him. I did not lock my brakes as I had a full load and that would have been dangerous.

"The male hit my left front light and the side of my truck."

Jones slowed and pulled into the forecourt of the Turakina Service Station and went back to check on Shramka.

No one saw the impact but several people in nearby houses heard it and raised the alarm.

Another truckdriver, Peter Sofa, was driving his B train truck and trailer unit from Palmerston North to Whanganui ahead of Jones.

He also recalled seeing a man standing on the left side of the road, trying to hitch a ride.

"I only saw him at the last second because he gave me a hell of a fright.

"He didn 't jump right out into the road but was out onto the edge of the road and I would have been very close to him."

Sofa continued his journey to Whanganui, but contacted police the next day when he heard about the death in Turakina.

na Nagara said there was no evidence the death was a suicide.

"Having considered all the evidence before me I have reached the conclusion that Mr Shramka mis-timed his effort to catch Mr Jones' attention and stepped/ran into the truck's path.

"Accordingly I consider Mr Shramka's death to be an accident."