Double death driver argued with partner

  • 07/12/2015
Double death driver argued with partner

A lovers' fight was behind a tragic double fatality that left the boyfriend and a pedestrian dead on a New Plymouth street, a coroner says.

Nepalese man Alekh Acharya, 22, killed himself and local man Ronald McMillan, 67 - and narrowly avoided maiming several others - after speeding along on Frankley Rd in April this year.

In coronial findings released on Monday it was revealed Mr Acharya, a sales rep, had argued with his girlfriend that morning, and had confronted her from his car while she was out walking their newborn baby.

When she refused to get in the car with him he took off at speed, moments later ploughing his Toyota into Mr Millman, a volunteer firefighter, as he walked along the footpath.

Mr Acharya's car then slammed into a wooden retaining wall.

Coroner Christopher Devonport did not hold an inquest into the deaths but his inquiry found both men died from multiple injuries at the scene of a smash.

He said it was clear from witness accounts the driver had "accelerated at speed" after the argument and "fishtailed" while overtaking two vehicles.

He then overcorrected and hit Mr Millman.

If it hadn't been for the heavy breaking evasive action of the driver of the oncoming car, the couple and two young children inside would have collided head on with the Toyota, Mr Devonport said.

Mr Acharya also narrowly missed a couple who had just walked past Mr Millman pushing their baby in a pram.

A doctor who witnessed the crash tried to keep the driver's airways open until paramedics arrived but, as Mr Devonport wrote in his finding, "Mr Acharya was determined to be deceased".

The report states that there were no issues identified with the weather, the vehicle or the driver's physical health, and there were no drugs in his system.

No recommendations were made.

NZN