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Drug, sleep link to crash death

Magistrates Court

A Buckland woman's tragic death on a southern Tasmanian road mid last year is being blamed on fatigue and drugs.

Joanne Cooper was behind the wheel of a Hyundai hatchback which crossed to the wrong side of Tea Tree Road at Tea Tree in July.

The Getz collided with a truck and, despite airbags and a seatbelt, the 41-year-old died driver in the Royal Hobart Hospital the following day when her life support was turned off.

Coroner Simon Cooper has heard evidence from family members who say the deceased was sleepy and drowsy the prior to her ill-fated trip to New Norfolk.

An autopsy found multiple drugs including diazepam in Ms Cooper's system, despite her not having a prescription for the powerful benzodiazepine. 

"Ms Cooper’s car was identified as having minor defects prior to the crash. However, I am satisfied that those defects (principally in relation to tyre tread) did not cause or contribute to the happening of the crash," said Coroner Cooper. 

"Weather conditions and the road surface did not cause or contribute to the happening of the crash either."