The son of a woman who died after texting and driving has spoken out about a safety campaign he says puts his mother in a bad light.
A coroner's inquest into the death of Paula Jessep, 37, was held in Rotorua on Wednesday.
Ms Jessep died on December 22 last year when her Toyota Rav 4 collided head-on with a Nissan Sunny. The crash happened on State Highway 1, north of Tirau. Ms Jessep was alone and the Nissan held three people, all of whom were injured.
Ms Jessep was driving to Hamilton from Rotorua and, although it was raining heavily at the time of the crash, police suspected she had been texting and driving.
Senior Sergeant Fane Troy said that when he arrived at the scene he examined Ms Jessep's cellphone, found in the driver's footwell.
"I opened the phone as there were messages showing on the outside screen.
"When I opened the phone, I noted that it opened to a text message that was half-written."
Mr Troy said he read the received and sent messages and it appeared there had been a text conversation occurring.
Coroner Wallace Bain asked for the number of text messages sent by Ms Jessep in the 45 minutes it would have taken her to travel from Rotorua to Tirau.
Mr Troy counted 19, the last of which was sent about 15 minutes before the crash.
Mr Bain said while she may have pulled over to send some of the messages, the number showed she had been sending messages while she was driving.
Two of the girls injured in the crash have started an anti-texting and driving campaign. But Ms Jessep's son Eliot Jessep, 17, said he had turned down several requests to join.
"I'm not thrilled about it because it puts my mum in a bad light," he said.
Eliot said he believed his mother could have been distracted by a number of things while driving and it was not necessarily texting that caused her death.
"What stood out to me was how the heater was sitting. This may not sound like a big thing but personally, for her, if she was driving in a hot car that would make her a lot more tired and distracted.
"She was in Rotorua earlier in the week for a funeral and she would have been very tired ... I think she could have pulled over a lot quicker, I think that played with her reaction times a bit."
Eliot said he did not think anyone could be 100 per cent sure it was texting and driving that had caused his mother to crash.
He said the cause of death should be noted as being "distracted in general".
Ms Jessep's mother, Bernadine Jessep, said her daughter was the most lovely, caring, kind and supportive person anyone could meet.
"She was forever helping people, particularly those in need that struggled with life.
"The several hundred people that attended her funeral was indicative of the person she was - she was a daughter of whom her father and I were very proud.
"The fact that other people were involved in her accident would have been devastating for her."
Mr Bain reserved his decision.