More On The Tragic Death of Deborah Howell

The Marlborough Express has published further details about the tragic death of American journalist Deborah Howell, who died after being struck by a car near Blenheim on Saturday. Her husband said they were being transferred to accommodation by Marlborough Travel when his wife asked the driver to stop, because she wanted to take a photograph on Rapaura Rd:

The husband of a leading United States journalist killed while holidaying in Marlborough says his wife always told him to face reporters if anything happened to her. Former Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell, 68, a veteran newspaper editor, was fatally injured when she was struck by a car on Rapaura Rd, near Spring Creek, north of Blenheim, about 12.10pm Saturday.

She had stepped out of the car she was in to take a photograph when she was hit by an oncoming vehicle. Her husband, Peter Magrath, said he believed she was not used to cars driving on the left, and had looked the wrong way.

Sergeant Dan Mattison, of Blenheim, said Ms Howell was taken to Wairau Hospital by Blenheim St John Ambulance with serious injuries. She died soon after.

Mr Magrath, a former University of Minnesota president, agreed to talk to The Marlborough Express, because his wife always told him to face reporters. “You don’t have to answer questions, but I would dishonour her if I didn’t talk to reporters,” Mr Magrath said”….read more here

Later news reports stated that the driver of the car that struck Ms Howell was not from the area. Police are investigating whether there are ground for charging her. The most common charge was likely to be careless driving causing death.

According to the report in the  Marlborough Express

“Rapaura Rd, also known as State Highway 62, has previously been labelled the most dangerous stretch of highway in New Zealand.

While the 12.7-kilometre stretch has a relatively low traffic volume, it was the scene of four fatal crashes and two serious injury crashes from 2002 to 2006.”

 See also The disturbing toll on New Zealand’s roads – The AA wants the Government to put more effort into studying the factors that lead to crashes.

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