Knaresborough man, 24, was five times drink drive limit in fatal New Zealand crash


A driver who hit and killed a 24-year-old Knaresborough man, in New Zealand, "was not able to avoid a collision" an inquest has heard.

Michael Spink, 24, from Knaresborough, was residing in Walton, New Zealand, when he was hit and killed by a vehicle driving along the State 27 highway of Matamata on January 21, last year.

But an inquest resumed by Coroner Jon Heath at Harrogate Magistrates Court this week heard that Mr Spink was over five times the New Zealand drink-driving limit when he died.

Mr Heath said: "On January 20 Mr Spink had been in Matamata drinking with friends.

"At some time around midnight Mr Spink decided to get in his car and leave."

The court heard that on his way home, Mr Spink had driven his car into a ditch and then began walking along the State 27 highway.

Mr Heath added: "He decided to exit his vehicle and began walking towards his home address. Mr Spink was walking along when he was struck from behind by Jhovanna Armstrong."

But a report by Coroner Mr Matenga, in New Zealand had concluded that Mr Spink's alcohol intake, dark clothing and the fact he was walking along the road were all factors and that "Mr Armstrong did not see Mr Spink and was not able to avoid a collision".

A toxicology report found that Mr Spink's alcohol level was 271 micrograms per 100 millilitres of blood, with the drink driving limit in New Zealand noted as 50ug/100ml.

Mr Heath said autopsy reports had concluded Mr Spink died at the scene from head injuries sustained from being struck from behind.

Mr Heath concluded Mr Spink's death as a result of a road traffic collision.