Dragged 84 meters: Wanted man allegedly ran away with a person stuck under his car after an accident

Dragged 84 meters: Wanted man allegedly ran away with a person stuck under his car after an accident

Raynor Crib was found about 80m from where his friends left him on Cambridge Street in Levin. Photo / Jeremy Wilkinson

“Stay awake… please… just breathe, please.”

These were the words heard on the phone to 111 by a man who had discovered that his best friend Raynor Cribb had been dragged more than 80 meters under a car.


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“He’s having trouble breathing I can hear it,” Daeus Taueki is heard telling the operator.

“I don’t want to touch him, he’s bleeding everywhere.”

Cribb had fallen from the passenger seat of Taueki’s car after a high-speed chase with another car on the outskirts of Levin early on February 23 last year.

He ended up under the Subaru they were chasing. Taueki and another passenger ran to find a car jack, then returned to find their friend 80 meters away from where they had left him, struggling to breathe.


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It is alleged that the driver of the Subaru, Adam Kapo Henare, who was wanted at the time, drove deliberately and dragged Cribb to his death before fleeing the scene.

However, Henare says he did not know that the other man was under the wheels of his car and would not have been able to drive it if he had known.

What is indisputable is that he was dragged to his death.

The case before Palmerston North High Court instead focuses on whether Henare knew Cribb was under his car before he left and is therefore guilty of careless driving causing death.

Crown counsel and Henare agree the tragedy began with two separate groups of people congregating early in the morning, by chance, at a quiet river reserve near Levin, about half an hour south of Palmerston North.

Henare and a woman, Alicia Ralston were in a blue Subaru. Cribb and his two partners Taueki and Angius Rauhihi were in a gray Honda. Both groups were drinking alcohol.

Ralston, Levin’s host, knew the boys at Honda and sensed the growing tension between them and Henare so he suggested they leave.

Both groups had been drinking in Gladstone Park before crashing on Cambridge Street outside Levin. Image / Data originator

The three men say they saw Henare searching their car as they were leaving so quickly they jumped in their Honda and drove west towards Levin while Taueki was driving with Cribb in the passenger seat.

The race reached a speed of 160kmh and stopped suddenly after entering the 50kmh zone and a sharp right corner on Cambridge Street.

The court heard that Henare braked hard at the corner with the hot Honda hot on his heels. Cribb allegedly removed his seat belt and opened the passenger door as they approached the Subaru.


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However, without expecting a strong brake, Taueki swerved, he narrowly avoided hitting Henare with an electric pole and placed the curb before stopping.

At some point during this maneuver Cribb fell out of the Honda and ended up under Henare’s Subaru.

It is at this point that the Crown’s case and Henare’s version of events diverge.

Defense lawyer Philip Mitchell told the jury Henare saw another car drive away after telling him they were going to “f**k the king”.

He then tried to pull himself out but stopped further down the road after hearing a “doof doof doof” noise from his car and thought he had damaged his wheel in the accident.


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At that point, Mitchell says Henare noticed Cribb was under his car before trying to get him out by slowly moving the car while Ralston stood outside and directed him. Mitchell says Henare then left Cribb on the road.

However, prosecutor Guy Carter said it was the Crown’s case that following the initial crash all sets of occupants got out of their cars and saw Cribb stuck under the Subaru.

Carter said that Taueki and Rauhihi left to find a car jack to help them raise the car and get their friend out.

The case will be adjourned for two weeks at the High Court sitting in Palmerston North.  Photo / Jeremy Wilkinson
The case will be adjourned for two weeks at the High Court sitting in Palmerston North. Photo / Jeremy Wilkinson

But when they returned, Henare was gone and they found Cribb further down the road, barely breathing and badly traumatized from being dragged by the side of the road.

“He was dragged 84 meters,” Carter said. “He would have died minutes later at the scene.”

Carter said Henare was wanted by police at the time and fled the scene to avoid arrest, driving despite knowing another person was trapped under his car.


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‘I love you man…please’

Taueki, was the first witness to testify in Palmerston North this afternoon before Judge Paul Radich and a jury of six men and six women.

He said Cribb fell out of the car sometime toward the end of the sprint. Taueki, over the legal alcohol level at the time, has already pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in a previous court case.

Taueki said he remembers both cars stopping after avoiding a collision and hearing Henare say “Your brother is under the car” after both drivers got out of their cars.

His evidence was that he and another passenger, Angus Rauhihi, left to find a car jack and returned about ten minutes later to find Cribb further down the road.

“I could hear him trying to breathe, trying to say something,” she told police in an interview a week after Cribb died.

The corner of Cambridge Street where the two cars avoided a collision.  Photo / Jeremy Wilkinson.
The corner of Cambridge Street where the two cars avoided a collision. Photo / Jeremy Wilkinson.

“I told him to just breathe.”


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Taueki says Henare told him not to call an ambulance and he and Rauhihi left to find a car jack before turning around realizing they shouldn’t have left.

He called an ambulance anyway and it can be heard in a recording played to the court that Cribb “jumped out of the car”.

Taueki can be heard crying on the phone as he made his way back to where he expected Cribb to be.

Cribb’s family members wept in the dock as Taueki discovered his friend playing on the record, as the attendant tried to calm him down.

“I love you man…please,” she is heard saying.

Henare’s trial continues tomorrow and will be adjourned for two weeks.


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Jeremy Wilkinson is an Open Justice reporter based in Manawatū covering court and justice issues for the judiciary. He has been a journalist for almost a decade and has worked for NZME since 2022.