The solicitor-general has asked for a coroner's case involving the death of two Spanish tourists in Northland nearly a decade ago to be reopened.

What has sparked the reason to have the case reopened could not be revealed but would be part of the inquest according to a Coronial Services spokesman.

The inquest has been scheduled for December 4 this year in the Auckland District Court before Coroner Peter Ryan.

Coroner Brandt Shortland released his findings into the death of Spanish couple Joan Roma-Serra and Eva Fajula-Rovira, both aged 34, in June 2012.


The fatal head-on crash involving the couple's Toyota Hiace campervan and a Mercedes Benz truck and trailer unit happened on December 22, 2009, about 10.30am just two days before they were due to fly home after completing their three-week holiday in New Zealand.

Shortland found the tourists were in the wrong place at the wrong time and did not contribute to their deaths in any way.

"These were unnecessary deaths. They could not have avoided this unfolding situation as their options to take evasive action were zero," he said.

"I find the truck lost control as a direct result of driver error. I am satisfied there are no mechanical defects or sudden loss of electrical or mechanical function within the truck that contributed in any way to this crash."

Evidence was given by Linfox Logistics Limited, the company who owned the truck, that confirmed the truck was in a proper state of fitness consistent with a certificate of fitness as required before the crash.

During the original inquest it was confirmed the rental van driven by Roma-Serra was travelling north on State Highway 1 near the Maromaku turnoff when it was hit head-on by the truck driven by Ioane Etuale.

The truck lost control causing the truck and trailer to jack-knife and to crash into the campervan.

A car following the truck was hit by the trailer as the driver tried to take evasive action.


Shortland said it was extremely lucky Lisa Berger and her young son were still alive.

The Spanish tourists died at the scene.

They had travelled through the South Island on their trip and wanted to see part of the North Island before returning home. Rather than spend the remaining days of their holiday in Auckland they decided to take a trip to the Bay of Islands.

A 30m section of the southbound lane where Etuale lost control was in poor condition with a pattern of ruts and corrugations known as "crocodile cracking".

It was known for being difficult to handle, especially for an unladen truck like the one Etuale was driving.

"Uneven surface" signs were erected the next day and the highway was later repaired.

Etuale of Auckland, was charged with two counts of careless driving causing death and one of careless driving causing injury, but was found not guilty in the Kaikohe District Court in 2011.

Etuale did not attend the inquest held in Whangārei in 2012 and could not be found by police at that time.