The man who died in a crash in Waipawa last year was driving a car he had stolen just minutes earlier.
Hastings man Glennard Hirini Gotty, 62, died in Hawke's Bay Hospital on May 28 after the vehicle he was driving crashed on White Rd, Waipawa.
A coroner's report released today ruled the beneficiary died of multiple injuries.
Gotty was the only person in the Ford Fairmont, owned by a Waipawa resident, when it crashed.
He had talked to the owner about buying the car about 5pm that day, saying he wanted to check the car out first.
They travelled around the Waipawa area together so Gotty, who was driving, could do this and at one point the resident told him to slow down because he was driving at about 120 kilometres per hour.
Gotty drove to several addresses during this time period and at one point demanded the man get out of the car.
The resident saw something shiny in his hand, which he thought may have been a knife or a screwdriver, and got out of the car before Gotty sped off along State Highway 2 towards Hastings.
Although the car had a current registration and warrant of fitness at the time of the crash, Gotty did not hold a current driver's license.
He had been forbidden to drive in September 2014 and his licence had been cancelled in 2015.
Coroner Tim Scott noted that the crash may have been prevented had the Waipawa resident required Gotty to show him his driver's licence before allowing him to take the car for a test drive.
He crashed on a left-hand right-angled bend on White Rd where there is no cautionary speed sign.
Scott agreed with a senior crash analyst's recommendation to install a 25km/h speed advisory sign before the corner, which has since been enacted by the Central Hawke's Bay District Council.
It was not clear why Gotty had failed to negotiate the bend. There was no evidence of efforts to brake the car to steer it around the bend, no evidence of visibility issues on the road and a post-mortem blood sample did not detect any alcohol.
There were not witnesses to the crash and a vehicle inspector examined the wreck to find no faults that may have contributed to the crash.
Scott said Gotty would likely have been caught a short time after stealing the car had he not crashed.