Jumat, 08 Agustus 2014

Sarah Durazza death: Mobile phone call probably caused model*s fatal car crash, coroner rules (ABC)

Sarah Durazza s death was a terrible warning of the dangers of inattention and distractions while driving , Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon found.ABC Sarah Durazza's death was a "terrible warning of the dangers of inattention and distractions while driving", Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon found.

The death of a Sydney model who crashed her car after answering a call from her boyfriend has been described by a coroner as a "case study in the dangers of distractions for drivers".

Mona Vale beautician and model Sarah Durazza, 26, died when her car crossed lanes and hit a tree at Narrabeen on Sydney's northern beaches in August last year.

At an inquest into her death, Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon noted that mobile phones were a significant distraction for drivers.

Releasing his findings on Friday, he said Durazza, a "bright, vivacious, high-spirited young woman", died from multiple injuries.

Coroner Dillon said crash investigators found that the road surface was in good condition, the weather was fine and there was nothing on the surface that would have contributed to the accident.  

He said she lost control of the car a few seconds after answering a phone call from her boyfriend, Scott Bidder.

"During the first few seconds of that last call, Sarah lost control of her vehicle and skidded off the road into bushland beside the Wakehurst Parkway," the coroner found.

"It was there that Sarah tragically lost her young life when her car struck a tree side-on with significant force.

"Disturbingly, the crash was heard over the phone as it happened."

Coroner Dillon found there was a "strong possibility that she was distracted by using her mobile phone".

He said the fact she swore as she picked up the phone immediately before the accident was "highly suggestive" that the act of answering the phone "caused her to take her eye off the road momentarily but sufficiently long for her to run onto the verge".  

"Sadly, Sarah's death is a case study in the dangers of distractions for drivers," Coroner Dillon said.

"A motor vehicle can be transformed into a deadly weapon in a moment by inattention or distraction."

Coroner Dillon said police had given evidence of frequent accidents on the Wakehurst Parkway but he had no evidence to suggest the road was unusually dangerous.

However, he recommended a safety audit of the parkway if one had not been conducted recently.

The coroner noted that the Greek playwright Euripides once wrote: "What greater pain can mortals bear than this – to see their children die before their eyes."

He said that had been Durazza's mother's terrible experience on the parkway when she saw her daughter's body.

The entire family and Durazza's partner remained grief-stricken, he said.

"I hope that the Durazza family, but especially Mr and Mrs Durazza and Mr Bidder, will accept my sincere and very respectful condolences on the loss of this beautiful young woman whom they loved so much."


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