RECORD OF INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH (WITHOUT INQUEST)
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
I, Christopher P Webster, Coroner, having investigated a death of
WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST
I have decided not to hold a public inquest hearing into this death because my investigations have sufficiently disclosed the identity of Mr Giuliani, the date, place, cause of death, relevant circumstances concerning how the death occurred and the particulars needed to register the 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 information further to that disclosed by the investigations conducted by me.
I FIND THAT:
(a) Paul Giuliani (“Mr Giuliani”) was born in Italy on 29 December 1942 and was aged 68 years at the time of his death. He was a married man, whose occupation was a retired tradesman.
(b) Mr Giuliani died on or about 20 November 2011 on Henty Road, near Strahan.
(c) Mr Giuliani died as a result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries due to a motor vehicle crash. A probable significant contributing factor was severe atherosclerotic coronary vascular disease.
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH:-
On 20 November 2011 the wife of Mr Giuliani, Elvira Giuliani “Mrs Giuliani” left the family home at Runcorne Street, Zeehan and drove to “The Crays” accommodation at Strahan, where she worked part time. Mrs Giuliani states that Mr Giuliani normally travelled to Strahan with her and would wait at Banjo’s Bakery until she finished her work, however on this day he was late getting out of bed and Mrs Guiliani left without him as she was running late. It was agreed that Mr Guiliani would drive over when he was ready.
Mrs Giuliani states that Mr Giuliani was a good, careful driver, who would pull over to have a nap if he felt tired. He was also in high spirits after finding out that a trip to Italy was being planned for him.
Mr Giuliani had a history of ischaemic heart disease which was treated with a coronary stenting in 2010. He remained on regular medication which kept his condition stable. In September 2011 he had investigations for hoarseness, complicated by respiratory failure, however this resolved without further incident.
On the morning of 20 November 2011, Mr Giuliani drove towards Strahan from Zeehan. He was alone in his white 2004 Ford Courier utility, registration number EW7961.
Stephen Whittle (“Mr Whittle”) and Adam McDermott (“Mr McDermott”) state, that when driving separately on Henty Road towards Zeehan about 10.00am on 20 November 2011, each observed a small white flat tray utility travelling towards them on the incorrect side of the road before swerving back to the correct side as they approached. Mr McDermott further indicates that when the white utility had passed, he looked in his mirror and saw that it kept drifting left and passed onto the gravel edge. The vehicle continued with the left side tyres on the gravel for some distance. He was concerned about the manner in which the vehicle was being driven and turned around.
Mr McDermott drove in the direction the utility was going and came across it near the Ocean Beach lookout. He states that the utility was parked off to the side of the road and that the driver appeared to be sleeping. Upon seeing this he turned around again and continued on his intended journey towards Zeehan.
Rickie Onions (“Mr Onions”) states that at 10.20am on 20 November 2011 he was driving from Zeehan towards Strahan at approximately 100km/h when he drove towards a white flat tray utility, travelling in the same direction, about a kilometre past the Little Henty Bridge on Henty Road. The utility was straddling the white centre line so Mr Onions flashed his vehicle lights and the utility moved over to the left, allowing him to overtake. Once he passed he noticed that the utility again moved back into the middle of the road.
Matthew Waller (“Mr Waller”) states that on Sunday 20 November 2011 around 10.10am he left Strahan to travel towards Devonport in a Mitsubishi Triton Flat tray utility. On a straight section of Henty Road about five kilometres from Strahan he was driving at about 100km when he noticed a white flat tray utility, travelling towards him, veering towards the centre line. He initially wasn’t concerned as it was expected practice to swerve in an attempt to miss the many potholes on the road however, as the distance closed he moved his vehicle further over to his left, expecting the white flat tray to pass by without issue. As the vehicles were about to pass Mr Waller states that suddenly the approaching white flat tray veered right and collided with his vehicle. The impact caused his vehicle to spin 180 degrees out of control before coming to a standstill in a ditch on the opposite side of the road.
Mr Waller got out of his vehicle and jogged back to the other vehicle which had ended up front first into a creek. As he approached he noticed that the flat tray from his vehicle had also been ripped off and was also in the creek. He was able to force open the passenger side door of the vehicle and found the driver, Mr Giuliani, slumped forward and without a detectable pulse. Other persons stopped and confirmed that Mr Giuliani was deceased. Emergency services were then called and attended.
Police conducted a thorough investigation of the area and the circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident, including an inspection of both vehicles by personnel from DIER. These inspections concluded that neither vehicle had any fault that was determined to have caused the crash.
On 21 November 2011 Dr Donald MacGillivary Ritchey (“Dr Ritchey”) conducted a post mortem examination upon Mr Giuliani. He concluded that Mr Giuliani’s cause of death to be multiple blunt traumatic injuries due to a motor vehicle crash. He also identified a probable significant contributing factor being severe atherosclerotic coronary vascular disease and emphysema.
Following a thorough investigation it was concluded that Mr Giuliani died as a direct result of the injuries he suffered in the vehicle crash. There were no external factors identified that contributed to the crash and it was determined that Mr Giuliani’s inattention to his driving caused it. There is no identifiable reason for his inattention however a probable significant contributing factor may be his pre-existing medical condition.
COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS -
Before I conclude this matter, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.
DATED: 18 June 2012 at Hobart in the State of Tasmania.
Christopher P Webster