Upset, tired and wanting to get to her two young children, Nadia Kolopa Asalemo made the late-night decision to get in her car and drive.

But driving at least 100km/h with music blaring, she didn't see two pilot vehicles warning of a wide load - a truck and trailer carrying a house.

Her Mazda van smashed into the side of the house, ripping the roof off her vehicle as it slid underneath the truck's trailer. Her vehicle eventually came to rest about 80m from the truck and house.

The crash was on State Highway 1 just north of Tokoroa about 1.40am on Friday, October 6, 2017.


The 28-year-old mother from Lower Hutt never woke and died in Tokoroa Hospital a short time later.

Details of the crash were revealed during an inquest today before Coroner Gordon Matenga in Rotorua.

The inquest heard Andrew's Housemovers was carting a prefabricated house between Huntly and Reporoa overnight on Thursday, October 5 last year.

There were two pilot vehicles in front with flashing lights and signs, and two pilot vehicles following the truck carrying the house.

Experienced truck driver Leslie McKenzie from Auckland described the "surreal" moment Asalemo drove at speed into the side of the house.

He said between the flashing lights of the pilot vehicles in front, he could see the headlights coming towards him.

"A lot was going on up front, flashing lights, listening to the CB and trying to take evasive action. I picked up her headlights .. the motor was screaming when it went past me, I looked to the side, all there was a hole. It was surreal. It was unbelievable."

One of two rear pilot vehicle drivers, Paul Johnson, was in tears as he read his evidence with a police officer eventually taking over because he was too upset.


His evidence was that the driver simply didn't see them and was going too fast.

"We were lit up like a Christmas tree. She couldn't have missed us."

Truck driver Peter Jackson was in the area at the time and was alerted to the wide load via CB radio. He pulled over but Asalemo's vehicle passed him and didn't slow for the pilot vehicles.

"The van overtook me about 100km/h. It was like the she ignored the pilot vehicle or didn't know what a pilot vehicle was. I grabbed my CB radio and tried to warn the truck driver."

He said he noticed a flash of brake lights just before the van went into the side of the house, indicating the driver only spotted the house at the last minute.

Jackson then helped those at the scene, saying the driver was motionless in the vehicle. He said music was blaring "as loud as it could go".

Another truck driver, Graeme Allen, who encountered the pilot vehicles and the truck a short time earlier, said he didn't notice one of the pilot vehicles.

He said he thought the second pilot vehicle was directly in front of the truck and the first wasn't far in front enough.

Andrews Housemovers managing director Gary Andrews was in tears when he read his evidence.

He acknowledged a technical glitch in that the trailer carrying the house had the wrong type of registration but said those processes had been improved within his business.

Coroner Matenga acknowledged evidence from police earlier the trailer was in perfect working order and the wrong registration had no consequence in the crash.

"We just wished the lady had have seen the house," Andrews said.

"There was nothing we could do. Being a grandfather and a father, this is tragic."

Speaking directly to Asalemo's family, he said: "From all of us involved, this is tragic and we feel for you all".

Nadia Asalemo's daughter, Tuila Asalemo, 10, and father, Peter Perez at today's inquest wearing T-shirts in memory of Nadia. Photo / Kelly Makiha
Nadia Asalemo's daughter, Tuila Asalemo, 10, and father, Peter Perez at today's inquest wearing T-shirts in memory of Nadia. Photo / Kelly Makiha

Asalemo's father, Peter Perez, told Coroner Matenga his daughter arrived at her aunt's house in Tokoroa about 11.30am on October 5 but "something wasn't right with her" and she had been upset.

He said she wanted to pick up her two other children, aged 4 and 5, in Whanganui and had headed off just before 1am, waking her 10-year-old daughter, Tuila, asking if she wanted to go too, but Tuila said she wanted to sleep.

Coroner Matenga said something must have happened to change Asalemo's mind and she turned around and was heading back towards Tokoroa when she crashed.

Coroner Matenga has reserved his decision.