Final scream before Capricorn Hwy crash haunts boyfriend
HEARING his girlfriend scream was the last thing Luke Fisher remembers before the car he was a passenger in slammed into the back of a stationary vehicle at 100km/h.
At about 7.30am on June 24, 2013, Mr Fisher and his 17-year-old girlfriend Rebecca Fenton were driving home from a weekend away in Townsville when disaster struck.
Ms Fenton, an Emerald State High School student, died after the Hyundai Getz she was driving collided with a utility on the Capricorn Hwy at the Yarrabee Mine Haul Rd intersection.
An inquest into the death of the Sapphire teenager was held at Rockhampton Coroners Court yesterday to determine how the accident happened and what could be done to prevent similar incidents.
The inquest heard Mr Fisher and Ms Fenton were on the final leg of a trip to Townsville and back via Yeppoon when Ms Fenton collided with the vehicle of Rockhampton man Andrew Peatrie.
Mr Peatrie was on his way to work and had stopped on the Capricorn Hwy to wait for a gap in traffic to turn onto the Yarrabee Mine Haul Rd.
Three witnesses gave evidence including Mr Fisher, Mr Peatrie and Rockhampton Police Forensic Crash Unit Officer in Charge, Sergeant Raymond Pimm.
Mr Fisher, who suffered a minor head injury in the accident, appeared via video link from Charleville.
"We stopped at Black Hill Pit just East of Bluff for a toilet break and when I got back in the car from the toiled Rebecca was in the driver seat," Mr Fisher said.
"She was driving for 10-15 minutes before the accident."
Mr Fisher said the last thing he remembers was hearing Ms Fenton scream.
"Rebecca asked me to text her mum for her to meet up with her in Emerald and I can't remember seeing anything in front of us," he said.
"I sent the message to her mum, put my head down and it wasn't very long before I heard her scream."
Mr Peatrie said he saw Ms Fenton approach at speed in his rear-view mirror but there was nothing he could do to avoid the accident.
"I wanted to turn but I couldn't and just braced myself for the impact," Mr Peatrie said.
"It happened so quickly I had nowhere to go."
Sergeant Pimm indicated driver distraction and road setting may have played a part in the accident.
The inquest finished yesterday with Coroner David O'Connell expected to release findings at a later date.