A road trip ended in tragedy for a University of Otago
student last year.
An inquiry into the death of Michael Mouti Taylor was held by
coroner Carla na Nagara, in Palmerston North, last month.
The 24-year-old student, who lived in Great King St, Dunedin,
died when he lost control of his vehicle, which crossed the
centre line into the path of an oncoming vehicle on State
Highway 3, Taranaki, on June 17.
The coroner found the loss of control was ''attributable to
driver fatigue'', but she noted heavy rain and wet road
surface might have also contributed.
Mr Taylor and his friend, Sean Moody, an Otago student who
had just completed his exams, left Dunedin on June 15. The
next day at 5am, the pair left Christchurch and, about 12
hours later, were nearing their destination of New Plymouth.
The pair had shared the driving and Mr Taylor had driven
since they left Hawera. He died almost instantly in the
A postmortem examination determined he suffered multiple
traumatic injuries, including to the chest and abdomen.
The toxicology report detected no alcohol. An antidepressant
was detected, as were traces of THC, the active ingredient of
Mr Taylor's friend remembered nothing of the crash, and might
have gone to sleep in the minutes leading up to it.
The Police Central Districts serious crash unit confirmed the
vehicle, driven by Mr Taylor, had crossed the centre line and
there was no evidence of braking before impact.