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Erebus Air Accident Investigator Killed In Crash

Erebus Air Accident Investigator Killed In Porirua Crash

New Zealand Police Wellington News Release

12 February 2008


Retired chief air accident investigator Mr Ronald Chippendale was killed this morning after being struck by a car which went out of control in Whitford Brown Avenue, Porirua.

Inspector John Spence, Kapiti Mana Area Police Commander, said the fatality happened at 7.25am as Mr Chippendale, aged 75 years, was returning to his Aotea home from his usual early morning walk.

An 18-year-old Porirua man lost control of his car while driving up Whitford Brown Avenue and ploughed into Mr Chippendale as he was walking on the footpath. Mr Chippendale, who as chief air accident investigator reported on the Air New Zealand DC10 crash at Mt Erebus, Antarctica in November 1979, was killed instantly.

Inspector Spence said the car's driver was shaken but uninjured. He has been interviewed and it is likely that serious charges will follow once the investigation has been completed.

Porirua Police are appealing for witnesses who saw the crash. Officers would also like to talk with a man and woman who stopped and helped the driver out of his car. People with information are asked to contact Porirua Police on telephone: 04 238 1400.

Inspector Spence said Mr Chippendale, who was married, lived in the Aotea subdivision not far from where the crash happened. One lane was blocked to early commuter traffic until emergency services cleared the scene.

"Mr Chippendale was a keen walker and could be seen most days striding out in the Aotea and Papakowhai areas," Inspector Spence said. "The circumstances of his death are a real tragedy."

ENDS

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