Inquest into Waikouaiti man's death begins

A coronial inquest into the death of a Waikouaiti man killed in 2016 when a driver mounted an Oamaru footpath and ploughed into him and two others has started at the Oamaru District Court this afternoon.

The inquest, being presided over by Coroner Marcus Elliott, was requested by the partner of Gerald James Cowley (67), Midge Henderson, who is seeking clarification on why William Arthur Lee (88) was allowed drive given his reported medical issues.

Mr Elliott said the hearing would also determine whether any recommendations would be made to the NZ Transport Agency to review its guidelines in relation to driving conditions.

A suppression order on the reporting of some details of Ms Henderson's statement made at the beginning of the inquest by Mr Elliott.

Lee killed Mr Cowley, seriously injured Valerie Booth (70) and moderately injured a 13-year-old girl when the car he was driving mounted the footpath after he blacked out outside the Lagonda Tearooms in Thames St, Oamaru, on January 11, 2016.

He was charged with operating a motor vehicle carelessly causing death and three charges of careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury.

Lee pleaded guilty to all all four charges at the Timaru District Court on October 16 last year and was disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay a total of $10,000 reparation to Mr Cowley's partner and Ms Booth.

The inquest continues.

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