After Dark Stroll Turns Deadly
ROWE -v- ROSE  WADC 38
At approximately 10.00 pm on 20 May 2013, the Defendant drove her motor vehicle from her home and turned into Preston Point Road, Bicton, driving in an easterly direction. Her motor vehicle struck Mr Prime on the roadway as he was walking his dog. There were no eyewitnesses.
Mr Prime died one week after he was struck by the Defendant’s motor vehicle.
It is alleged that Mr Prime’s death was caused by the negligent driving of the Defendant. The defence denies that any negligence on the part of the defendant caused his death and alleges that Mr Prime’s own negligence contributed to his death as he should have been keeping a proper lookout.
At the time of the motor vehicle accident, Mr Prime was wearing dark clothing, including a hoodie. He had consumed two or three Corona beers that evening. He more probably than not had another beer in his hand at the time. Subsequent tests indicated he had an ethanol reading of 0.12% and a blood alcohol content of 0.1%.
The Defendant was the only witness able to give any evidence of the motor vehicle accident. In cross-examination, she maintained that her car’s bonnet would have blocked her view up the road. She disagreed with the proposition that the roadway was level or very close to level.
After multiple expert analyses were tendered in evidence, the Court concluded that “It is reasonable, in all the circumstances, and in the absence of other evidence or explanation….that the defendant’s failure to perceive and detect Mr Prime as a pedestrian sooner than she did and to take steps to avoid her motor vehicle crashing into him, caused or materially contributed to that crash and his death”.
As the sole provider and carer for Mr Prime’s two children, Mr Prime’s partner and the children were awarded compensation pursuant to the Fatal Injuries Act.
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