Two young people lost their lives in a car accident partly because they made some bad choices but ultimately the driver was responsible, a coroner has ruled.
Louise Reichenbach, 20, and Bailey Kinita, 14, died after receiving fatal head injuries in the early morning crash on Foxton Beach Road on February 20, 2011. The Ford Telstar in which they were killed was overloaded with seven passengers.
Miss Reichenbach was sitting in the footwell of the front passenger's seat, while Bailey was on a friend's knee. Neither victim wore a seatbelt.
The duo were returning from a party in Himatangi where a 21st birthday was being celebrated. Supervising the party was property owner Charles Hadley, his partner and four adult friends.
Coroner Tim Scott concluded in his report released earlier this week that the party was appropriately managed and it would be unreasonable to expect the organisers to know where or how the partygoers left the address.
It is presumed more than 100 of the approximate 150 guests left the party in a way Mr Hadley had no control over. His partner took approximately four carloads to "other destinations" but, when Bailey and his friend apparently sought a ride, there was no room.
The outcome would have been very different if Bailey had been taken home by Mr Hadley's partner said Coroner Scott.
Instead, Bailey and his friend chose to leave the party in a white car carrying eight passengers. At a park in Foxton, they then got into the Ford Telstar owned by the Riechenbach family which was being driven by William Nicholson-Kuiti.
Leaving the park, it is estimated Nicholson-Kuiti, then 19, was travelling at speeds of up to 145km/h while racing the white car. As they neared a left turn on Foxton Beach Road, the Telstar failed to take the bend.
Despite efforts by William to correct the car, it rolled, killing two of the seven occupants.
Coroner Scott said William failed to protect them.
"He drove at least alcohol impaired, probably while drunk ... He drove badly at first and then dangerously and did not slow or stop when requested on more than one occasion by more than one passenger to do so."
Nicholson-Kuiti was convicted of manslaughter and dangerous driving in June 2011 and is serving a sentence of four years and nine months.