Sheffield, UK: Second Coroner’s Inquest of no added value

31 Jan

The second Coroners’ Inquest into the death of Kay Stanley, a British woman, on an Australian level crossing which had been adjourned as Gwen Bates, the mother of Kay Stanley has been admitted to hospital. Still without the attendance of Mrs Bates as a result of her illness, South Yorkshire’s Assistant Deputy Coroner Julian Fox sitting with a jury has returned a narrative verdict.

The Coroner’s narrative references the delayed addition of half-barriers to the Tyabb level crossing to upgrade it from an active open status to automatic half-barrier; and, the possibility that they may have delivered a different outcome. The barriers originally scheduled for 2007 were added two weeks after Kay Stanley’s fatal accident which occurred on January 28th, 2008.

The narrative verdict said it was clear that Ms Stanley did not see the stop lights nor did she hear the audible warnings. Therefore, the second inquest has added nothing to the understanding of why the accident happened. Thus, the duplication of the Australian inquest with a second British inquest has added nothing of value.

The original Australian inquest in 2012 into the accident found no substantive fault with the active open level crossing and concluded that the motorist had been distracted. Indeed Victorian coroner Jacinta Heffey said in her finding that Ms Bates was never “prepared to accept that her daughter’s death was caused by inadvertence on her part”.

Mr Fox did not made any recommendations to authorities in Victoria concerning the prevention of further deaths as this was covered in the original inquest in Australia.

One Response to “Sheffield, UK: Second Coroner’s Inquest of no added value”

  1. Andrew Fraser January 31, 2014 at 10:07 #

    No substantive fault? So why upgrade it?

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