Record Of Investigation into Death (Without Inquest)
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
I, Christopher P Webster, Coroner, having investigated a death of Shirley Lorraine Fyle.
a) The identity of the deceased is Shirley Lorraine Fyle ('Mrs Fyle');
b) Mrs Fyle died on 4 January 2011 at the Royal Hobart Hospital;
c) Mrs Fyle was born in Hobart on 6 December 1928 and was aged 82 years;
d) Mrs Fyle was a widow whose occupation at the date of death was retired;
e) I find that Mrs Fyle died as a result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries suffered as a pedestrian who was hit by truck;
f) Her death was caused by the driving of Robert stephen Woodcock the driver of the vehicle that struck her; and
g) At the time of Mrs Fyle she was not being treated by a medical practitioner.
Circumstances Surrounding the Death : -
1. At approximately 12:40 PM on Tuesday, 4 January 2011 Mrs Fyle was crossing at the pedestrian lights and Argyle and MacQuarie Street Hobart when she was struck by a truck driven by Robert Stephen Woodcock (Mr Woodcock) who was driving a truck as an employee of DeBruyns Transport.
2. On 28 December 2010 Mrs Fyle fell at home scratching her glasses. She made an appointment to see an optometrist on 4 January 2011. She attended that appointment at 11:15 AM in Collins Street Hobart. She was driven to the appointment by a friend and intended to catch a taxi home. She left the appointment at approximately 12 PM. Her precise movements after leaving that appointment are not known.
3. During the morning of 4 January 2011 Mr Woodcock delivered general freight at various Chickenfeed stores at Centrepoint; North Hobart and Sandy Bay. He travelled from Sandy Bay via Molle Street into Macquarie Street with the intention of turning left into Argyle Street in order to travel to Brewsters in Campbell Street Hobart.
4. At approximately 12:40 PM Mrs Fyle was waiting at the pedestrian crossing at Argyle Street outside the Mercury building with the intention of crossing Argyle Street in a general easterly direction. At the same time two vehicles (including that of Mr Woodcock) were making left-hand turns from Macquarie Street into Argyle Street. The pedestrian light turned green as did the traffic light facing the two vehicles. Mrs Fyle began walking within the designated pedestrian walkway. The first vehicle which was intending to make a left-hand turn gave way to Mrs Fyle. The truck, driven by Mr Woodcock, which was beside the vehicle which had given way to Mrs Fyle continued to make a left-hand turn. Mrs Fyle was three quarters of the way across Argyle Street when she was struck by the truck. The truck continued several metres along Argyle Street with Mrs Fyle still trapped in the front of the wheel. The collision and immediate aftermath was observed by a number of witnesses and filmed by a camera on a Metro bus in the immediate vicinity.
5. Mrs Fyle was treated at the scene by doctors and paramedics and immediately taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital where she died within an hour of injuries sustained in the accident. The cause of her death was verified by the State Forensic Pathologist.
6. Mr Woodcock was charged by the police with various traffic offences namely fail to give way to pedestrians when turning at an intersection with traffic lights; driving without due care and attention; and failing to give an indication of change of direction signal. He pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court to those charges and was disqualified for 12 months and received a fine.
Comments and Recommendations -
I have decided not to hold a public inquest hearing into this death because my investigations have sufficiently disclosed the identity of Mrs Fyle, the date, place, cause of death, relevant circumstances concerning how her death occurred and the particulars needed to register her death under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1999. I do not consider that the holding of a public inquest hearing would elicit any significant information further to that disclosed by the investigations conducted by me.
Before I conclude this matter, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to Mrs Fyle's family.
DATED : 20th November 2013 at Hobart in the State of Tasmania