Coroner reveals Christchurch crash victim was drunk and angry

  • 10/07/2017
Christchurch, Crash
Aliieulua Fesili Salaivao crashed while being four times over the drink-drive legal limit in October 2015. Photo credit: File

A man who had been in a fight was four times over the drink-drive limit and when he crashed into another car in Christchurch, killing himself and the other driver, a coroner has found.

Aliieulua Fesili Salaivao, 38, had also sped the wrong way up a one-way street before the collision at the intersection of Salisbury Street and Durham Street on the night of October 3, 2015.

He died at the scene, while the other driver, Michael James Burnby, died in hospital four days later.

Coroner Tim Scott found that no fault or blame could be attributed to Mr Burnby, a 42-year-old landscaper.

"It is clear this crash occurred because Ali drove while angry and intoxicated," he said in a decision handed down on Monday.

"His driving was highly irresponsible and dangerous."

Mr Salaivao, a steel fixer originally from Auckland, moved to Christchurch for work a few months before the crash.

On the night he died, he had driven co-workers to a company-owned house for a social function.

One co-worker said Mr Salaivao had looked drunk by 10pm and was in a fist fight with another partygoer.

He was told to go home, didn't want to, drove off in an aggressive manner, returned minutes later wanting to continue fighting and drove away again.

"It is most unfortunate that his work mates allowed him to do so," the coroner said.

"Obviously what should have happened is that the van key should have been taken from Ali (forcefully if necessary)."

NZN