Darwin called and three gang members answered, shame Darwin missed one though

What a terrible shame…that one survived.

Mongrel Mob member Ronald Rigby had methamphetamine in his blood and was trying to prevent another car overtaking when he drove himself and three other gang members off a 125-metre cliff near Wairoa, a coroner has found.

Rigby, 53, Nathan Isaac, 29, and Terry Stone, 31, died when the Honda Inspire they were in left the road and plunged into the Mohaka River, 40km south of Wairoa, on November 7 last year.

A fourth man in the car, Anthony Atkinson, miraculously survived.

The men had been on their way to the gang’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Hastings. They had passed through the small settlement of Raupunga and the car was making its way up an incline out of the river gorge about 2.45pm when another car travelling in the same direction, a Honda Prelude, attempted to pass it on a gentle left-hand bend.

Police located the Prelude in Raupunga days later but have not been able to establish who drove it at the time. The men who police believe were in the car have told police they received legal advice not to make a statement.

Omertà.

Coroner Chris Devonport has released the findings of his inquest into the crash. Autopsies revealed Rigby had methamphetamine in his blood at the time.

In his findings, Devonport quotes the forensic toxicologist as saying methamphetamine adversely affected drivers by making them overconfident and prone to “taking unnecessary risks, aggressive and dangerous driving and impaired ability to react appropriately”.

Devonport also said a crash investigation had showed the Inspire had crossed the centreline as the Prelude attempted to overtake.

Marks on both cars showed they made contact before the Prelude braked heavily, then stopped as it hit the barrier on the northbound side of the road at the edge of the cliff.

When the Prelude stopped, the Inspire crossed in front of it, hitting the barrier at speed before mounting it and flying over the top.

The car touched the ground briefly on the other side of the barrier before it flew off the near vertical cliff.

There were no witnesses and the Prelude left the scene.

Atkinson was found alive on the bank of the river at the bottom of the cliff wearing just a pair of jeans. He had a graze on his face, some bruises to his left arm and he was capable of walking and talking.

He told police that Rigby, who was driving the Inspire, had “just lost control and we went over”. He said he did not see any other cars and did not think another car was involved.

Darwin called and three ratbags answered.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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