Nine years later, police re-interrogate woman’s partner after fatal fall – stuff | Region & Cash

Libby Francis McKay, 27, died at Christchurch Hospital on June 14, 2013, five days after falling on Halswell Junction Rd in Hornby.


Libby Francis McKay, 27, died at Christchurch Hospital on June 14, 2013, five days after falling on Halswell Junction Rd in Hornby.

The partner of a woman who died nine years ago after falling from a ute was questioned again by police with no charges being filed at that time.

Libby Frances McKay, 27, died at Christchurch Hospital on June 14, 2013 – five days after she appeared to have fallen from a ute traveling on Halswell Junction Road.

Her partner Michael Brown was driving when she said she fell and suffered fatal head injuries. He told police he didn’t push her out of the ute. He later moved to Australia.

The first investigations did not lead to any charges. In 2019, police conducted a second review of the case, which included re-interviewing witnesses and consulting experts.

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Things knows that Brown has recently returned to New Zealand and that the police have again questioned him about McKay’s death.

It is understood he is not facing any charges at this time.

McKay’s mother, Pauline Webby, declined to comment.

The second review was initiated after Webby spent more than $20,000 to hire an Australia-based company to conduct its own analysis of the crash, as she was unhappy with the police investigation.

She said the results of the tests, which included a reconstruction of the crash, contradicted Brown’s version of events and did not match the injuries her daughter sustained.


Libby McKay died at Christchurch Hospital in 2013, five days after her partner said she fell out of a ute. A new report casts doubt on his version of events. (Video first released October 2018)

Police found a coin on the street where Brown said McKay fell, having previously found several coins around the rear of the driver’s-side car at the couple’s home. Police found no other evidence McKay had been there.

Brown said so earlier Things he was “not interested” in reports from people who “spread untrue drama”.

A coroner’s inquest into McKay’s death was conducted, but Brown did not return to testify.

At the time, coroner David Crerar said McKay’s family could petition the Attorney General to request a new investigation if Brown returned to New Zealand.

Brown had many questions to answer, including why he didn’t immediately call an ambulance or take McKay to the hospital, the coroner said.

Libby McKay and Michael Brown were walking home from a party when McKay was fatally injured.


Libby McKay and Michael Brown were walking home from a party when McKay was fatally injured.

McKay and Brown were on their way to their home in Branston St, Hornby, after a party in West Melton early on June 9, 2013. Evidence collected by police revealed McKay was heavily intoxicated.

In an interview with police, Brown said he put McKay in the back seat of his Toyota Ute and drove her home when they had an argument about her wanting to return to the party.

McKay had sat in the front passenger seat while traveling between 50 km/h and 70 km/h.

“Then she just opened the door and rolled out,” Brown said.

He swerved hard to the left and made an about-face, he said. When he came to her, she was “out of breath.”

“I picked her up and put her in the back seat.”

When he picked her up, there was no blood, he said.

However, as he was driving home, he turned on the interior light and looked at her.

“There was blood everywhere. I panicked.”

He called 911 and got through when he reached the driveway of her home.

Brown said she “gargled blood … it was all blood.”

“I kept screaming ‘Libby Libby Libby’ and she didn’t answer.”

Detective Sergeant Jason Stewart said investigative police asked Brown if he pushed McKay out of the truck.

He has “clearly” denied this every time.

The police looked at all possible criminal avenues, but had “nothing that could be proved that we could use to bring charges.”

The coroner said police had to “determine beyond a reasonable doubt” that Brown was criminally responsible for McKay’s death in order to press charges.

“Probably Michael Brown’s version is correct. Questions remain,” he said.

dr Martin Sage told Coroner McKay that the death was consistent with Brown’s explanation of her falling from the vehicle, but he could not comment on whether her fall was “assisted.”

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