The widow of Masterton man Warren Carter has broken her silence to slam the Army and health and safety regulator WorkSafe over the handling of her husband's death.
Carter died when an Army Unimog truck hit the couple's car near Ashhurst 10 months ago yesterday.
Joan Carter has refrained from commenting about the incident, on August 10 last year, since the trainee driver of the truck, Dayne Pennington, was discharged without conviction in February after admitting a charge of careless driving causing death.
Joan Carter supported that result, hugging Pennington in court, and insisting the Army take responsibility for the crash.
In evidence to the police and an Army Court of Inquiry, Pennington said he had been instructed to use "left-foot braking", a technique outside New Zealand Transport Authority guidelines.
WorkSafe has refused to investigate the crash.
"After reading through hundreds of pages of reports from police, serious crash unit and information under the OIA via the Army and Worksafe, I can only conclude that incompetence on the part of the Army and Worksafe are disturbing," Joan Carter said.
"The issue of left-foot braking, not a practice condoned by NZTA, yet used by an inexperienced driver in his workplace vehicle, surely needs investigating."
Joan Carter believes the Army's response was based around avoiding bad publicity.
"In regards to the Army, their incompetence resulted in a mad scramble to alleviate any negative publicity and a desire to placate me with as little effort and respect as possible -- that is their shame to bear.
"I can't help but wonder how differently things would have been if the out of control Unimog had killed an All Black?"
Joan Carter said the she had lost any confidence in Army procedures.
"Integrity and honour were qualities I previously associated with our Armed Forces and I am grateful that my father, who served in Egypt in World War II is no longer alive to witness their fall from grace.
"However, I am grateful for the amazing support of my family, friends and total strangers, and I will not let the negatives define my life going forward."