RECORD OF INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH (WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST)
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Regulations 1996
I, Stephen Raymond Carey, Coroner, having investigated the death of
David Kenneth TREZONA
WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST
a) The identity of the deceased is David Kenneth TREZONA (“Mr Trezona”) who died at approximately 4.00pm on Sunday 19 February 2012.
b) Mr Trezona was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 10 May 1955 and was aged 56 years at the date of his death.
c) Mr Trezona was a fireman, a single person who resided at 2 Stapleton Street, Unenderra, New South Wales.
d) Mr Trezona died as a result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash.
e) I am satisfied based upon the investigation concluded that Mr Trezona died as a result of an accident.
Circumstances Surrounding the Death:
Mr Trezona was engaged in a touring holiday in Tasmania with his friend Mr Craig Rawlings, both were riding motorcycles. The evening before the fatal crash Mr Trezona and Mr Rawlings stayed the night at Port Sorell. From there they travelled via Burnie, Tullah, Derwent Bridge and left there travelling south on the Lyell Highway towards Hobart. At approximately 4.00pm on Sunday 19 February Mr Trezona was riding his white BMW motorcycle (Registration Number QRU 47) and Mr Rawlings was following Mr Trezona on his BMW motorcycle (Registration Number DOC 55). They passed through the township of Hamilton and approximately 6kms south of Hamilton Mr Trezona has entered a sweeping left hand bend when he has lost control of his motorcycle. Mr Rawlings indicates that Mr Trezona was attempting to gain control of his motorbike when he was “high sided” or thrown into the air by the momentum of the motorcycle.
The motorcycle and Mr Trezona have slid in a southerly direction along the road surface. The road at this location was constructed of bitumen, with a single lane for vehicles to travel south and a single lane for traffic to travel north. Mr Trezona’s motorcycle slid along the south bound lane and Mr Trezona slid in a southerly direction in the north bound lane. At this time a white Toyota Hilux 4WD Utility (Registation Number DS 5032) being driven by Mr Llewelyn Cecil Frost was heading north in the north bound lane. Mr Frost has seen Mr Trezona just prior to him falling off the bike. Mr Frost has decelerated and moved his vehicle to the left hand side of the north bound lane. However due to the proximity of the vehicles at the time Mr Frost has had insufficient reaction time to avoid a collision with Mr Trezona. Mr Trezona has slid along the road and has hit the front part of the Mr Frost’s vehicle. Mr Trezona’s head has collided with the underside of the bullbar on Mr Frost’s vehicle. The point of contact occurred on the driver’s side of the bullbar.
Police attended the scene soon after and the matter was the subject of a detailed investigation by the Tasmania Police Crash Investigation Service. A detailed report has been received following their investigation.
On 21 February 2012 vehicle inspector Jason Hardy conducted a mechanical examination of the Toyota Hilux Utility being driven by Mr Frost. Although some minor defects were found as a result of that inspection, they did not contribute to the incident and the vehicle was in a well maintained and roadworthy condition.
During the course of the transport inspection of Mr Trezona’s BMW motorcycle, diagnostic equipment was used to download information from the motorcycle’s on-board computer. The analysis report revealed that the front wheel sensor recorded a fault. The odometer reading at the time of the fault was recorded as 28520 whilst the vehicle was travelling at 71km/h. This fault is likely to have been recorded at the time that Mr Trezona lost control of the motorcycle just prior to falling off. The speed detected at the time of the fault (71km/h) is well below the permissible 100km speed limit imposed on that section of road. This is consistent with evidence from other drivers who had observed the motorcyles being driven at less than 100km/h immediately prior to the accident. I accept the conclusion drawn from this information that excessive speed was not a contributing factor in this crash. The description from Mr Rawlings that Mr Trezona was “high sided” describes the type of motorcycle crash that occurs when the rear wheel starts to slide in a turn (sometimes due to a locked brake and the resulting skidding tyre), and then suddenly grips the road (which could occur when letting off the brake), flipping the bike sideways. The name derives from the side of the motorcycle that the rider will separate from. If forcibly thrown over the bike, the rider is said to have dismounted on the high side.
The helmet worn by Mr Trezona was marked as meeting all applicable safety standards. I accept that no safety helmet can protect the wearer against all foreseeable accidents, and that accidents will occur that exceed the protective capability of any helmet. The helmet worn by Mr Trezona was subject to severe impact in the vicinity of its front clear visor.
Both vehicles involved in this accident were of good mechanical condition. The road was found to be in good condition and free of defects, it had rained prior to the crash and the road was wet, but it was not raining at the time of the collision. Mr Trezona was licensed to ride the motorcycle and was an experienced motorcycle rider. It is evident that this unfortunate crash has occurred as a result of loss of control of his motorcycle by Mr Trezona. Speed does not appear to have been a contributing factor, Mr Trezona may have lost control due to the wet conditions and been unable to recover control of the motorcycle. The other driver, Mr Frost, has been unable to avoid colliding with the motorcycle rider despite his attempts to slow down and steer his vehicle to the left. The existence of a deep culvert on the left hand side of the roadway hindered Mr Frost’s ability to completely move out of the path of the oncoming cyclist who at that time was sliding along the roadway.
No blame or responsibility can be attributed to Mr Frost in relation to this tragic accident.
Before I conclude I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family of Mr Trezona.
Dated: 30 September 2012 at Hobart in the State of Tasmania.