Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Deaths of Steven Walter McLean and Shane Henry Wallam

Inquest into the Death of Steven Walter McLEAN and Shane Henry WALLAM

Delivered on : 8 January 2015

Delivered at :Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Vicker

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary :  At approximately 12:46pm on 30 April 2011 the deceased men, Steven Walter McLean (Steven) and Shane Henry Wallam (Shane), were the driver and front seat passenger respectively, of a black Holden Commodore sedan (black commodore) being driven at speed in an easterly direction on the Great Eastern Highway in the vicinity of Carrabin.

Approximately 5kms east of Carrabin Roadhouse the driver lost control of the black commodore on a slight right hand bend. The black commodore slid across the west bound lane, along the gravel verge and crashed into a tree with such force the black commodore was broken into two distinct parts. Both the driver and passenger were partially ejected from their seats, backwards, and died at the scene.

The two deceased men had, moments before, been involved in an incident at the Carrabin Roadhouse where two police officers had attempted to stop the driver of the black commodore from leaving the roadhouse and driving on to the highway.

By the provisions of the Coroners Act 1996 where it appears the deaths were caused or contributed to, by any action of a member of the police force, there must be an inquest into the circumstances of the deaths to enable an independent review of the actions of the police officers involved.

The Coroner was satisfied the two deceased men were not behaving reasonably at the time the black commodore crashed due to their intoxication with alcohol and toluene, and that the driver was not capable of making appropriate judgments with respect to the driving of the black commodore. There was little difference in the driving at that point in time and that described by witnesses prior to the known involvement of the police although in evidence their speed was described as even faster than before.

The Coroner was not of the view the incident at the Carrabin Roadhouse caused or contributed to the actions of the two men in the black commodore other than to confirm they had succeeded in drawing the attention of the police.

The Coroner found both men died on 30 April 2011, Steven Walter McLean died as a result of Head and Neck Injury and Shane Henry Wallam died as a result of Multiple Injuries.  The Coroner found that both deaths arose by way of Accident.

Catch Words : Police Pursuit : Mandatory Inquest : Alcohol & Drugs : Toluene : Breach of Police Protocols : Relevance : Accident :

Last updated: 16-Feb-2024

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