National News

Coroner lashes Tas driver's false evidence

A driver who struck and killed a father-of-two on an eastern Hobart highway and failed to stop at the crash scene has been lashed by a coroner for giving false evidence in court.

Trinton Harmon, 43, was walking at night on July 8, 2016 on the poorly lit stretch of road when he was struck by a 4WD.

In findings published this week, coroner Olivia McTaggart ruled he died almost instantly on impact and nothing could have been done to save him.

Airport worker Simone Bridges was on her way home when she accidentally hit Mr Harmon, severely damaging the front of her car and windscreen.

She continued driving home but went to a police station several hours following the crash after her partner told her someone had died on that stretch of road.

Ms Bridges told officers she thought she hit a kangaroo, a position she maintained during coronial hearings held in February.

Ms McTaggart dismissed her evidence as filled with inconsistencies, anomalies and apparent untruths that led to an unnecessarily lengthy investigation.

"Ms Bridges' sole concern was to exculpate herself from any responsibility in respect of Mr Harmon's death, rather than to assist the coronial functions," Ms McTaggart said.

"In particular, her false testimony caused significant distress to Mr Harmon's loved ones."

Police investigators who examined the scene said it was likely a person in Ms Bridges' position would have been aware they'd hit a person and not an animal.

Ms Bridges' licence had been suspended at the time of the crash, something the coroner said played a part in her decision not to pull over.

Ms Bridges described the crash as "a brown flash".

An aged care worker driving home spotted Mr Harmon's body on the road and pulled over.

Mr Harmon was wearing dark clothing at the time and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, Ms McTaggart said.

© AAP 2020