10 Aug 2011

Coroner doubts roundabout will ever be safe

10:48 pm on 10 August 2011

A Wellington coroner says there is no way a major roundabout where a top police officer died will ever be safe for cyclists.

Coroner Ian Smith has held an inquest into the death of Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald in June 2008.

The 57-year-old former National Road Policing manager was hit by the trailer unit of a truck as it entered a major roundabout at Petone and died at the scene.

Since then safety improvements have been made, including the creation of an alternative route for cyclists via an underpass.

Coroner Ian Smith says he has visited the site several times and it bothers him greatly that cyclists can still go through the same manoeuvre which led to Mr Fitzgerald's death.

Representatives from the Hutt City Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency both told Mr Smith they saw no way cyclists could be stopped from using the roundabout.

In 2009 Desmond Wilson was found guilty of careless driving causing Mr Fitzgerald's death. He was ordered to pay $2000 reparation and disqualified from driving for nine months.