Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Darren Ross TWINE

Inquest into the Death of Darren Ross TWINE

Delivered on :31 August 2023

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Urquhart

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Mr Darren Ross Twine (Mr Twine) was 52 years old when he died from multiple injuries on 8 July 2020. He had been run over by a prime mover in a parking area of a roadhouse in Port Hedland.

Mr Twine’s partner asked that an inquest be held into his death and pursuant to section 22(2) of the Coroners Act 1996 (WA), the State Coroner determined that an inquest would be desirable for the purposes of establishing the circumstances of Mr Twine’s death.

Mr Twine worked as a truck driver for Norwest Crane Hire. On the evening of 8 July 2020, he was with another Norwest Crane Hire truck driver, Cody Robinson (Mr Robinson), at a roadhouse on Great Northern Highway in Port Hedland.

At about 7.20 pm, Mr Twine and Mr Robinson left the roadhouse and walked to their prime movers that were parked in a truck parking area in front of the roadhouse. Mr Robinson already had his ordered takeaway meal; however, Mr Twine had to return to collect his meal as it was not ready. Mr Twine had parked the prime mover he was driving directly behind the prime mover being driven by Mr Robinson.

Mr Robinson got into his prime mover and as he began to drive away, he struck and ran over Mr Twine who was positioned at the front of Mr Robinson’s prime mover on the passenger side. Mr Robinson did not stop and drove to a nearby road train assembly area. After a telephone conversation with his mother in which he said he thought he might have killed someone, Mr Robinson returned to the roadhouse. He told attending police officers he had initially thought he had run over a curb but he later had a funny feeling it was not a curb so he came back.

The Coroner found that Mr Twine’s death was a tragic accident and that Mr Robinson did not see Mr Twine in front of his prime mover as he began to drive away. The Coroner was satisfied that a modified foil window shade that Mr Robinson had internally positioned at the bottom of his prime mover’s windscreen significantly extended the pre-existing driver’s blind spot at the front of the prime mover. The Coroner also found that Mr Robinson, in a panic-stricken state, continued to drive away from the truck parking area after he had entered Great Northern Highway and seen he had run over a person. 

The Coroner was unable to explain why Mr Twine, a very experienced and safety conscious truck driver, would position himself in front of a prime mover that was about to drive forward without the driver’s knowledge he was there.

Since Mr Twine’s death, WorkSafe has alerted heavy vehicle operators of the dangers of using modified foil window shades in the manner that Mr Robinson had done. This practice was not uncommon and has been used in order to reduce the temperature in cabins. Norwest Crane Hire had already prohibited its truck drivers of using this technique shortly after Mr Twine’s death.    

Catch Words: Discretionary Inquest – Accident – Truck and Pedestrian  

Last updated: 19-Sep-2023

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