Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Danielle Kiesha LANE

Inquest into the Death of Danielle Kiesha LANE

Delivered on : 17 April 2015

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner King

Recommendations : Yes

Recommendation 1

That Western Australian Police devise a public notice based on Dr Luckin’s annexure and take steps to ensure that copies of the notice are placed on public notice boards throughout Western Australia where there is potential for people to become stranded in remote areas.

Recommendation 2

That Western Australian Police officers who service remote communities liaise with community leaders with a view to arranging for the training of community members about survival when lost or stranded.

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

The publication of any information relating to AP’s status under the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 be suppressed until further order.

Summary : The deceased was an eight year old girl living with her de facto foster mother and with her de facto foster mother’s partner, AP in a small Aboriginal Community northwest of Warburton at the time of her death.

The inquest explored the involvement of the DCPFS in the deceased’s life and the possible recommendations to prevent similar deaths occurring again.

On Saturday 31 December 2011 the deceased went with AP and a neighbour in search of a kangaroo which had previously been shot earlier in the day by the neighbour. The group did not find the kangaroo.  AP decided to have another look for the kangaroo on his own.  The deceased asked AP if she could go with him and he agreed.  AP did not intend to go very far and he took only one plastic water bottle with cordial and two oranges. The deceased had eaten one Weetabix cereal for breakfast.  The maximum temperature that was about 45 degrees.

AP’s bush skills were not good.  He soon became lost.  The car started to overheat, two of the tyres were punctured and the car became bogged down to the axle.  The deceased and AP stayed with the car overnight.  The next morning AP attempted unsuccessfully to dig the car out.  They decided to walk out, but before doing so AP placed black tape to the top of the car indicating the direction they intended to go.  He also lit a fire in the scrub near the car to create smoke to assist rescuers to find them.  On the afternoon of 3 January 2012 the deceased and AP were found by police.  The deceased was unresponsive and gasping for breath.  She died soon afterwards.

The Coroner found that the deceased died as a result of heat stroke and dehydration and that death occurred by way of misadventure.

The Coroner heard evidence from the DCPFS’ regarding the assessment and service provision to the deceased. The Coroner accepted that there was no evidence to indicate that the deceased’s welfare was detrimentally affected by placing her in current living arrangements at the time of her death.

The Coroner heard evidence from Dr Luckin in relation to survival strategies for people in remote communities who become stranded in harsh environments. The Coroner made recommendations on the basis of the evidence provided to the Court from Dr Luckin.

Catch Words : Heat Stroke and Dehydration : Misadventure : Vehicle Break Downs in Remote Areas :


Last updated: 27-Feb-2024

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