Home' Greymouth Star : July 16th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
A Napier truck driver negotiating the
steep Otira Viaduct for the first time
probably experienced brake failure,
sending him into the back of another
truck, and then 30m over the side into
the gorge and to his death, the coroner
Piki Lewis Jones, 34, worked for St
Giles Trading Company Ltd. His wife
told coroner Christopher Devonport
he was an experienced driver, although
it was possibly his first trip from east to
At 6am on June 22, 2011, he was
driving his truck and trailer, which was
not fully loaded, down the viaduct when
it broke through a barrier at Star vation
Point, and plunged 30m on to the rocky
Mr Jones’ wife said he had gained
weight in recent years and had noticed
his heart rate increasing and loss of
breath when doing physical activity, such
as getting in and out the truck.
His sister said that before his death he
had joked about angina pain and “I am
sure I am having mini heart attacks”.
Police senior crash investigator senior
constable Simon Burbery said at the
time of the crash there was light fog and
the road was wet. It was still dark.
Mr Jones pulled over at Deaths
Corner at the top of the viaduct and let
another trailer overtake him. That driver,
Alexander Williams, noticed that Mr
Jones was going faster as he descended,
and wondered if he was trying to catch
up with him.
“As the last of my trailer came around
the corner I could see he had lost it and
his truck came flying down and rammed
the back of my trailer. Then he went
over the barrier and down the bank,” Mr
“The impact to my trailer jolted me in
the driver’s seat of my truck. It was like
a big bang.”
The crash investigators found Mr Jones
had crossed the centre line and hit the
steel netting used to hold back rocks.
The truck was travelling no less than 38
to 40kph when it hit the barrier.
The trailer landed on the cab unit,
which was crushed.
Truck driver Christopher Newton,
who had been heading up the viaduct,
said he heard the brakes on the other
truck “working on a high rev range”.
Autopsy revealed Mr Jones had
significant heart disease. Blood tests
showed he had smoked the equivalent
of a single cannabis joint within three
hours of death.
Constable Brett Currie found a
plastic bag with cannabis at the accident
The coroner said the truck was too
damaged to determine what gear it had
been in. If it had been in low third gear
and the retarder on high, there would
have been little or no need to apply the
The coroner heard expert evidence
that the brakes on two of the axles were
Mr Jones’ log book showed false entries,
which indicated he was not taking the
required rest time; fatigue could not be
ruled out as a factor.
The coroner said what made Mr Jones
speed up may never be known. However,
experts agreed the brakes showed
evidence of overheating, possibly during
the crash trip.
He was “ likely” not travelling in the
right gear and had to apply his brakes in
a way that let them to overheat and fail.
The coroner could not exclude fatigue
or the effect of cannabis, or a medical
“ I consider it most likely that lack of
experience in driving down the Otira
Gorge in the hours of darkness has
resulted in driver error by failing to
engage the correct gear before descent,
and resulting in brake applications
that has resulted in brake failure,” Mr
An upgraded guardrail was installed in
the Otira Gorge in August 2013.
A 50-year-old Kumara man who
appeared in the Greymouth District
Court yesterday after seeing in the media
that police had a warrant for his arrest,
was given nine months’ super vision and
fined $1500 for repeatedly harassing his
In October, Brian Patrick McBride
was ordered to come up sentence within
six months for harassing his former
partner, after the death of his son in a
shed fire at Kaniere last year.
However, on June 17 and 18 he
made abusive phone calls to his former
partner, and sent her threatening text
Lawyer Doug Taffs said McBride’s
former partner was about to move to
Australia, and he would not have any
contact with her when she moved away.
Mr Taffs said McBride accepted his
behaviour was inappropriate.
Judge Noel Walsh said the messages
McBride sent were “nasty” and
amounted to “veiled threats”. The tone
of them was “vile”.
Clifford David Dennison, 57, of
Kumara, was banned from driving
for six months for driving with excess
breath-alcohol of 828mg on July 5.
After being stopped by police while
driving in Whataroa, Dennison told
police had had drunk three beers and
three rums while watching a Super 15
rugby match at the pub.
Lawyer Doug Taffs said Dennison had
driven because he had some valuable
chainsaws in his car which could not be
Benjamin Rick McDonald was
ordered to come up for sentence within
12 months for wilful damage of a bar
door in Nelson.
McDonald had been drinking in the
bar on May 5 when he was asked to
leave after falling off his stool because
he was so drunk. He then smashed the
front door of the pub.
Jayden David Mark Gerrard, 21,
of Runanga, was remanded until
August 29 for a defended hearing for
threatening to injure on May 9.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said Gerrard
denied threatening the alleged victim.
An 18-year-old Greymouth man who
drove on a learner’s licence because his
sister had been drinking was ordered to
come up for sentence within 12 months.
Eden Heremia Bush failed to stop
while driving in Blackball on June 6.
Police chased him around the township,
during which time he reached speeds of
80kph in a 50kph zone.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said Bush,
who had a learner’s licence, had
been called to pick up his sister, who
could not drive because she had been
Dythaniel Scott Hart, 23, of
Greymouth, was ordered to come
up for sentence within 12 months
for possession of a rifle while under a
A police search of his house on June
20 found a rifle and seven rounds of
ammunition, which Hart said he had
been looking after for a friend who had
gone overseas, and did not have a secure
place to keep the gun.
Fane Christopher Dudley, 24, of
Blaketown, was remanded on bail
to July 29 to consult a lawyer on four
charges of dishonestly using a Z fuel
card on May 16, 17, 24 and 31.
2 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Wednesday July 16
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Genuine Care and
Meisha is excited to
announce that Mum and
Brendon (Lifty)) are
Services wishes to
sincerely apologise to
the Hambley family
and many friends for
the failure of the
sound system at
Louisa May (Kitty). —
July 16, 2007.
Message to Mum
A beautiful memory,
Dearer than gold.
Of a Mum whose worth
can never be told.
Love you always
Jimmy, Barbara, and
the late Shirley, and
March 15, 1979 - July
Our family chain is
And nothing seems the
But as we're called one
The chain will link
Love and miss you
always from all your
BROMLEY, Donk. —
No fancy words or long
verse to say how much
we miss you. Knowing
we supported you, were
there for you, stood by
you. Me being with you
when you passed means
more than words.
Love Yvonne, Kevin
Passed away peacefully
at Kowhai Manor on
July 12, 2014, aged 89.
Dearly loved wife and
soulmate of Gordon,
loved mum and mother-
(deceased), Bruce and
Shona, and Graeme
and Liz, adored and
treasured nana of Kelly,
Tony and Rebecca (all
of Rotorua), Blair and
Claire, and Leigh and
Kathie, loved great-nana
of Kane, Lauren, and
Oliver, and a very dearly
loved sister, sister-in-
law, aunty, and friend of
many. Messages to 8/45
Chapel Street, Grey-
mouth 7805. As per
Caroline's request a pri-
vate service has been
held. Westland Funeral
Services Ltd. FDANZ.
Phone (03) 768 0250.
The Greymouth Civic Centre was decked out in a Commonwealth Games theme as part of the Sports West Coast Active Kids
school holiday programme yesterday. Co-ordinator Bree Cumming said making flags and taking part in a variety of sporting
activities had been welcomed by everyone participating. “Children from all the local schools have been participating. We made
country flags yesterday and tomorrow it will be papier mache.” The holiday programme finishes on Friday.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Children enjoy Games fun
A Greymouth man who stole a
street road sign because it shared
the same name as him was given
80 hours of community work in
the Greymouth District Court
Benjamin James Smith, 27, was
driving in town with his cousin
on June 22 when he stopped his
car next to the Smith Street sign,
and pulled it off the power pole.
He was later apprehended by
police who searched his vehicle
and found two knives, an axe and
a cannabis pipe and grinder.
Smith told police he stole
the sign because it bore his
name, and he had the cannabis
paraphernalia as he smoked “a bit
A Greymouth man who
smashed windows in his mother’s
flat after she took his dog and
threatened to give it away, was
ordered to pay reparation of $605.
Jaydon Galland, 20, got into
an argument with his mother
after she complained about the
noise from a party he was having
in a flat above where she lived.
During an argument over the
noise Galland smashed some of
the windows in his mother’s flat.
Galland said in court he had
been “extremely drunk” at the
time, and had smashed her
windows because she had taken
his dog and threatened to give
it to the SPCA. He said he
would shortly be moving to
Christchurch for work.
Judge Noel Walsh said he knew
what a “volatile relationship”
Galland had with his mother.
A Cobden man was sentenced
to 120 hours of community work
for receiving saddles and related
gear stolen from the West Coast
Riding for the Disabled, in
Lawyer Richard Bodle said
Ryan Anthony Hood, 23, got the
equipment from a friend on June
27, and he thought it might be
stolen but was not sure.
It was Hood’s fourth dishonesty
related conviction in the past four
Hood was also discharged
without conviction for driving
while disqualified on May 25. He
had been forbidden from driving
on January 7, and when stopped
by police he said he had not get
around to getting his licence.
Anthony Kaye, 21, of Cobden,
was remanded until August 26
for driving without a licence on
June 11, to give him a chance
to get his licence after he had
failed to pass the test six times
Craig John McIsaac, 44, of
Christchurch, was fined $1200
and banned from driving for 12
months for driving with excess
blood-alcohol, on April 27.
When stopped by police
driving in Greymouth a blood
test showed 206mcg. He had
two similar previous convictions.
McIsaac admitted the offence.
A 59-year-old Greymouth
man was ordered to come up for
sentence within six months for
interfering with a vehicle on June
26 and July 3.
On June 26, Ian Keith Clark
was walking through Greymouth
when he saw an unlocked car and
leaned in through the window.
When he was disturbed by the
owner he said he was a “nosey
bugger looking for something to
after spying a packet of tobacco,
when he was disturbed by the
A 44-year-old Runanga man
escaped disqualification after
driving while suspended.
Phillip Thwaites had been
suspended from driving on
February 23 due to an excess of
demerit points. He had driven on
May 2, thinking that he was no
longer suspended, but in fact he
was suspended until May 22.
Lawyer Doug Taffs said
Thwaites had been confused
because of the medication he was
Judge Walsh accepted that was
a special reason why Thwaites
should not be disqualified.
Peter Boyd, 46, of Kumara,
was remanded until August 26
on a charge of theft of a vehicle
in December. Boyd denied the
Stolen sign same as surname
Crossing the Cascade River in South
Westland is something that would be
beyond even a 1970s Holden stationwagon,
Clarifying a trip he made in 1973, former
Hokitika chief sur veyor Owen Amor said
this week his trip by Holden ended at
the Cascade River, not further south at
Mr Amor’s determination in 1976 that a
legal road exists from Haast to Hollyford is
an important piece of the case being made
by the Haast-Hollyford Highway Ltd for a
toll road to be built through the area to link
the West Coast and Milford Sound more
In an e-mail this week, Geoff Morrison of
Echuca, Victoria, Australia, pointed out the
Cascade River had no bridge and could not
be crossed by car.
However, as a resident of Barn Bay 12km
south of the Cascade River from 1969 to
1973, he was well aware of a bulldozer track
that went as far south as the Pyke River.
Mr Morrison said the track was put in by
the Nickel Spoon Mining Company while
prospecting for minerals in the Red Hill
The track went through the bush to the
Hope River, which flows into Barn Bay,
and then down the beach to Sand Rock
Bluff, over the bluff and back on to the
beach to Gorge River.
It eventually reached Big Bay and the
Pyke River before continuing up the Red
Mr Morrison said while deerstalking and
crayfishing in the area he had walked the
track and said “believe me, Mr Amor didn’t
get south of the Cascade River”.
Mr Morrison said he would fly into
airstrips created by the mining company
along the track that was formed by the
“ If there was a track which was usable by
a four-wheel-drive vehicle we would have
used that instead of flying everything into
Barn Bay including the hut, tractor, cray
pots, fuel, generator etc.”
In his book, An Historic and Scenic
Journey Along the Coast of Westland,
Mark Pickering wrote the mining company
promised “large quantities of tin” but soon
“faded from the scene”.
A bigger company, Kennecott, which was
interested in the asbestos possibilities of
the Red Hills, drove two large bulldozers
from Barn Bay to Big Bay in about
1973-74, “trundling steel sledges with
accommodation huts and fuel behind
“They took about five months to get to
the Pyke River, and the displaced lines of
boulders can still be seen in many places.”
In an e-mail, Judy Knox, of Mosgiel,
said as a member of the Otago Tramping
and Mountaineering Club she walked the
Haast-Hollyford route in 1969, before the
track was bulldozed.
She was “shocked” the track was formed
and believed it “does not constitute
legality”. S he said Fiordland had been
“saved” from tunnel and monorail
developments and, “doesn’t need another
1973 road trip ended at Cascade River
Former partner sent
“vile” texts to woman
The Government today
announced a $200,000
grant over three years
for pest control in and
around Martins Bay,
including aerial 1080
However, the iwi for
the area has distanced
itself from the initiative
because of its use of the
Nick Smith said today
the money would allow
Group to carry out pest
Martins Bay, known
to Ngai Tahu as
Whakatipuwaitai, was an
important West Coast
1650 and the mid-
1800s. Later, Jamestown
and the settlement
at Martins Bay were
sur veyed in 1879,
but were doomed by
isolation and only a few
settlers stayed on.
Dr Smith said it was
home to beech, podocarp
and southern rata, as
well as unique birdlife
such as the mohua, blue
duck (whio), saddleback,
kaka and the Fiordland
including rats, stoats and
possums, posed a serious
threat, he said.
The grant would help
the conser vation group
to set up rat and possum
poison bait stations
and a stoat trap, and
the Department of
Conser vation would
provide further support
for the project with an
aerial 1080 drop in the
hills surrounding Martins
“A feature of this project
is the collaborative
approach taken by
the group with the
involvement of private
operators and iwi,” he
said in a statement today.
However, the West
Coast iwi responsible for
that area, Bruce Bay-
based Te Runanga o
Makaawhio, said today
it had withdrawn its
manager) Susan Wallace,
of Hokitika, said it had
made it clear from the
start it was opposed to
the use of 1080 poison in
“ We appealed to them
to look at alternative
methods,” Ms Wallace
When that did not
happen, the runanga
withdrew all involvement.
In a statement
Dr Smith said the
“display of community
spirit reflects the new
direction by DOC to
partner with more local
on recreation and
conser vation projects”.
Bay 1080 funding
A Seaview man who smashed up the door of
the Hokitika Fire Station while drunk and abused
St John staff was given nine months’ supervision
and ordered to pay reparation of $1600 when
he appeared in the Greymouth District Court
Cody Darryl Peterson, 23, had been on a night out
with his partner on June 21 when she fell over and
hurt her head. However, when St John ambulance
staff turned up to treat her, Peterson abused them,
especially when they refused to let him travel in the
ambulance with his partner to hospital.
Peterson slapped the back of the ambulance in
anger. He then went to the fire station and smashed
the front door.
When later questioned by police about the
incident Peterson said he could not remember what
had happened as he had been drunk, but he had
He had since donated $100 each to St John and
the fire brigade.
A Hokitika youth mentor who drove drunk had
her application for name suppression declined.
Olivia Rose Anderson, 26, was fined fined $600
and banned from driving for six months for driving
with excess breath-alcohol nearly twice the legal
On July 4, Anderson was stopped by police
driving in Hokitika, blowing 758mg when breath-
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Anderson had drunk
a bottle of wine and an RTD, and had then decided
to drive to her partner’s house. It was her first
Mr Bodle asked for Anderson’s name to be
suppressed, as the public could be satisfied that
she would not offend again, and it could harm
her ability to do her job, some of which involved
working in the area of drugs and alcohol.
Judge Noel Walsh declined the application for
name suppression. He said Anderson was a “valued
member” of her community, but despite it being her
first offence her reading was nearly twice the legal
Joel Kirkham Arnold, 22, of Hokitika, had a
charge of disorderly behaviour withdrawn.
Stephen Andrew Holmes, 43, of Franz Josef
Glacier, was remanded until July 29 for charges of
intentional damage on June 17, and trespass and
loitering on April 9.
Two Hokitika men, Nicholas James Cadigan, 29,
and Adrian Charles Turner, 31, were remanded
until August 12 for assaulting a man with intent to
injure, at Kaniere on April 26.
Kelly Dennis Maffey, 31, unemployed of Hokitika,
was fined $450 and banned from driving for six
months for driving with excess blood-alcohol of
548mg on July 4.
It was Maffey’s first offence.
Man smashed fire station
door and abused St John staff
Even West Coast rivers
which are at times unsafe
to swim in probably
do not fall below new
national bottom lines for
river quality, the West
Coast Regional Council
amendments to its
national policy statement
on freshwater. Council
planning and environment
manager Mike Meehan
said it was unlikely any
West Coast sites fell
below the bottom line,
although it would look
into it in more depth.
Even the Buller
River, which has had
with e-coli, would
probably come in above
the standard because it
was based on median
Coast rivers water
quality meets standards
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