Record of Investigation Into Death (Without Inquest)
Corners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
I, Timothy Hill, Coroner, having investigated a death of Andrew Michael Thomas.
WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST
Andrew Michael THOMAS died on 8 July 2012 at Illawarra Road, Perth opposite No.158.
Andrew Michael THOMAS was born in Launceston, Tasmania on the 11/11/1978 and was aged 33 years.
Andrew Michael THOMAS was a single man whose occupation at the date of death was a fork lift driver, employed at Raynor Transport, St Leonards Road, St Leonards.
I find that the deceased died as a result of haemorrhagic shock due to a tear in the thoracic aorta following a road traffic accident.
Circumstances Surrounding the Death:
Andrew Michael THOMAS was 33 years of age, he lived at 46 Station Road, St Leonards with his parents Michael and Deanna THOMAS. He was described as “a happy bloke who took life as it came.”
On Saturday the 7 of July 2012 Mr THOMAS helped his sister Emma Sylvia THOMAS move house. He went to bed at about 7.30pm on the Saturday night and did not get up until 10am on Sunday the 8 of July 2012.
Mr THOMAS left home at about 1.00pm to drive to Blackwood Creek to visit with a friend Scott ARNOLD. At the time of leaving his address he was driving a burgundy Holden Vectra Sedan Registration No. EC 6382 that belonged to Emma THOMAS.
He drove his sister’s car because it had some mechanical work done to it on Friday and he was giving it a test drive. He normally drove his own vehicle which is a 1985 Holden Commodore Sedan which he maintained in top mechanical condition.
Mr THOMAS travelled to 476 Blackwood Creek Road, Blackwood Creek to see Scott Christopher ARNOLD.
Whilst at the address they shared a 4 pack of Smirnoff Vodka pre mixed cans of which Mr THOMAS drank two cans.
Mr THOMAS then drove Mr ARNOLD into Longford to buy more alcohol.
They went to BWS and Scott purchased a 10 pack of Smirnoff Vodka cans. They then travelled to Cressy and visited with friends at 6 Church Street, Cressy where Mr THOMAS consumed at least two Smirnoff Vodka cans, and a Wild Turkey whisky can.
On returning to Mr ARNOLD’s house they went into the kitchen where they consumed two cans of Smirnoff Vodka each. Mr THOMAS decided to leave and drive back home.
He left and took two cans of Smirnoff Vodka with him. Mr ARNOLD stated that during the day Mr THOMAS appeared fine but did not eat any food and he was not sure of how many Smirnoff cans of Vodka he drank.
Mr THOMAS then drove back to 6 Church Street, Cressy where he arrived between 5.00pm and 5.30pm. He had 2 Smirnoff Vodka cans with him. Mr THOMAS drank one of those cans while Mr. RISK consumed the other.
Mr THOMAS left the Cressy address at around 6.00pm with the stated intention of driving home.
A witness Ricky Norman WHITE states that he left Browns Supermarket at Longford and headed towards the roundabout on Illawarra Road at about 6.15pm. He noticed a dark coloured sedan leave the roundabout in front of him and travel in the direction of Perth.
Mr WHITE claims that the dark vehicle pulled away fast. As he entered the Illawarra Road straight near Pateena Road junction he observed that the dark car was nearly at the end of the straight and appeared to be travelling in the right lane. Ricky claimed that he was travelling at 100km/h at the time and he believed that the dark sedan was travelling between 130 and 140 km/h.
Mr WHITE observed headlights travelling in the opposite direction about 350 metres from his location. He believed that he heard a thud and then saw all lights go out.
He stopped at the scene and assisted in stopping traffic and also called 000.
At 6.26pm while travelling in an easterly direction on Illawarra Road, Perth Mr THOMAS’ vehicle crossed over double white lines onto the incorrect side of the road and collided head on with a white Suzuki Swift Registration No. FE 3033 which was being driven by Nikki Rose CRESWELL in a westerly direction.
The accident occurred outside No. 158 Illawarra Road, Perth. At the time it was reported that visibility was good and traffic was light for that time of a Sunday night.
At the time of the accident Ms CRESWELL was driving with her headlights on, travelling in the correct lane and travelling at the speed limit which was 70 km/h.
Ms CRESWELL had a blood test as a result of the accident and a report showed that she had a reading of 0.000% and no drugs were detected.
Miriam Rae CONNER completed a Toxicology report on Andrew Michael THOMAS which revealed a blood alcohol reading of 0.251 g/100ml.
Ms. CRESWELL received extensive injuries as a result of the accident and remained in Hospital for a period of approximately 1 month.
Mr THOMAS was deceased at the scene and removed by mortuary ambulance.
The 1999 Holden Vectra Sedan Reg. No. EC6382 being driven by Mr THOMAS was examined by Transport Inspector Michael LEONARD on the 10 and 11 of July 2012.
He found that both rear tyres had non compliant tread depth, rendering the vehicle un-roadworthy at the time of the crash. He observed that the driver’s side seat belt showed no sign of a burn mark on the webbing which indicated that the belt was not being worn.
He also found that the speedometer needle was stuck on 110km/h.
He was unable to locate any defects that contributed to the crash.
The 2005 Suzuki Swift Reg. No. FE 3033 which was being driven by Ms CRESWELL was inspected by Transport Inspector Michael LEONARD on the 10 and 11 of July 2012 and he found it to be roadworthy with no defects that may have contributed to the cause of the accident.
A Post Mortem was conducted by Dr. Ruchira FERNANDO where she found the cause of death to be haemorrhagic shock due to tear in the thoracic aorta following road traffic accident.
Comments and Recommendations:
I am satisfied on all the evidence and I find that Mr THOMAS died as a result of the injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle collision caused when the motor vehicle being driven by him at an excessive speed crossed double white lines and moved onto the incorrect side of the road impacting with a vehicle being driven in a proper manner, in the opposite direction by Ms CRESWELL.
I find Mr THOMAS was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.251g/100ml which would have severely impacted upon his judgement and his ability to properly control a motor vehicle.
I am satisfied that the collision was caused by the combination of alcohol and excessive speed.
This matter is now concluded
DATED : 9 July 2013 at Launceston in the State of Tasmania