Record of Investigation into Death (Without Inquest)
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
I, Glenn Hay, Coroner, having investigated the death of Susan Helen Glancy¡¡
Find That :
(a) The identity of the deceased is Susan Helen Glancy ('Mrs Glancy');
(b) Mrs Glancy was born in Hobart, Tasmania on 23 February 1962 and was aged 51 years;
(c) Mrs Glancy died on 31 March 2013 at Otago Bay;
(d) Mrs Glancy was married whose occupation at the time of her death was enrolled nurse;
(e) Mrs Glancy died of multiple blunt traumatic injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash;
(f) At the time of her death Mrs Glancy was not being treated by a medical practitioner; and
(g) No other person contributed to Mrs Glancy's death.
Circumstances Surrounding the Death :
An approximately the 6:30 am on Sunday 31 of March 2013, Mrs Glancy left her home at Old Beach and drove her Hyundai wagon along East Derwent Highway in a southerly direction. She was travelling to the Royal Hobart Hospital to commence her daily employment duties and she was alone at the time. The speed limit on the road was restricted by signed to 80 km/h. The weather was fine and the roadway was dry.
Approximately 200 m north of the junction of Murton's Road at Otago the motor vehicle was exiting a closed right hand sweeping bend. At this location there are 2 southbound lanes and one northbound lane. Mrs Glancy was travelling in the left of the 2 southbound lanes.
On exiting the right-hand curve the left-hand tyres (both front and rear) entered onto the gravel verge on the eastern side of the road. Mrs Glancy has attempted to correct the position of the motor vehicle by applying significant right hand steering lock. She lost control of the motor vehicle. The vehicle commenced to rotate clockwise across the southbound lanes. Mrs Glancy has then applied a significant left hand steering lock which has caused the vehicle to veer anti-clockwise across the southbound lanes into the gravel and grass on the eastern side of the roadway. Again a significant right hand steering lock has been applied and the vehicle has commenced to rotate clockwise around a vertical axis. Due to acute curve through steering input and the elevation of the grass bank the vehicle has commenced to roll laterally southbound along the grass section on the eastern side. The vehicle completed two full rotations prior to coming to rest on its driver side in the southbound lane.
A following motorist telephoned emergency services and attempted to render assistance but it was impossible to do so and it was obvious Mrs Glancy was deceased.
There was extensive crash damage to the vehicle.
State Forensic Pathologist Dr Donald Ritchey performed a post mortem examination and found the cause of death of Mrs Glancy to be multiple blunt traumatic injuries sustained in the motor vehicle crash. He found that there were severe injuries of her head and neck that likely resulted in instantaneous death. Toxicology results disclosed only the presence of a therapeutic level of a prescribed medication.
Tasmania Police Crash Investigation Services (Sgt Carrick) undertook a detailed investigation of the crash, the crash site and the motor vehicle and including a computer modelled crash survey. Scene examination did not reveal any causative factor for Mrs Glancy to enter onto the gravel surface in the first instance. The investigation concluded that Mrs Glancy was travelling at approximately 73 km/h at the time of the crash. Sgt Carrick concluded that excessive speed was not a factor in this crash.
I accept and adopt the opinions of Dr Ritchie and Sgt Carrick.
Comments & Recommendations:
On the available evidence it is most likely that driver error was the cause of the crash which resulted in Mrs Glancy receiving multiple blunt traumatic injuries resulting in her instantaneous death.
I have decided not to hold a public inquest hearing into this death because my investigations have sufficiently disclosed the identity of Mrs Glancy, 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 the family of Mrs Glancy.
DATED: 27 November 2013 at Hobart in the State of Tasmania.