Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Speed Central to Arguments

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Speed Central to Arguments

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Mortimer luke.mortimer@dailymercury.com.au

A CORONER has adjourned to pore over evidence surrounding a crash on the Peak Downs Highway near Mackay which killed a mum and her son six years ago.

The driver of a Holden ute who survived the crash had been speeding up to 61km/h over the 100km/h limit while performing a risky overtaking manoeuvre seconds before impact, the coroner was told on the final day of the three-day Coronial inquest at Mackay Courthouse.

Counsel assisting the coroner, John Aberdeen, said if Coroner David O'Connell finds the ute's driver Adam Wisley committed an indictable offence on September 25, 2011 the matter must be referred to the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Though, Mr Aberdeen noted the department had unsuccessfully taken Mr Wisley to trial twice over the deaths of Lardeen 'Larnie' Glennon and her 14-year-old son Matthew 'Matty' Glennon, and may be reluctant to take action.

Mr Aberdeen said the inadmissibility of evidence provided by vehicle sensors which deploy airbags and record data had some part to play.

Data obtained from the airbag control module on Mr Wisley's ute after the crash -- including speed, engine RPMs (revolutions per minute), accelerator positions and throttle -- and their independence from each other meant there was only "astronomical possibilities" speeds estimated two seconds before the collision (between 150-161km/h) were incorrect, Mr Aberdeen said.

In his closing address, Mr Wisley's barrister, Joshua Jones, said if his client did reach 161km/h before the crash on the highway at Greenmount, near Walkerston, he was likely forced to accelerate his V8 ute to try to avoid the imminent collision.

"The human inclination is to lay blame in a situation like this ... it may very well not be any one person's fault, or any one feature's fault. …

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