Mercury (Hobart)

Fatal accident driver had no valid licence


A WOMAN driver who fatally struck a father-of-two on a highway in greater Hobart has told an inquest she had no idea she was driving illegally.

Trinton Harmon, 43, was walking on South Arm Highway on a night in July 2016 when he was killed by a 4WD driven by airport rental car worker Simone Bridges.

Ms Bridges told an inquest yesterday she was unaware her licence was suspended at the time, due to outstandin­g fines.

“I know I wouldn’t have driven,” she said, when asked if she would have done anything differentl­y.

“I would have made sure my licence was valid.”

Ms Bridges, who didn’t stop after the crash near Mornington,

said she saw a “brown flash” about the size of an A4 piece of paper the moment she struck Mr Harmon but believed it was an animal.

“It didn’t enter my head that it could be a person,” she said. Her mind shifted to the possibilit­y when her partner returned home and told her there had been a fatal crash blocking that section of the highway. Ms Bridges said her partner was told by police near the scene it was the “worst of the worst”.

“I said I want to go to the police straight away. I was very insistent,” she told the court, adding she was shaking in shock en route to the station.

The pair drove to Bellerive Police Station, where Ms

Bridges provided a statement several hours after the incident. She said her decision to keep driving to her Tranmere home after the collision and not pull over was so she could check the car’s damage in the light of her garage.

Ms Bridges told the court she inspected the car for several seconds. She then messaged her dad in the UK and asked for $1000 to help cover the damage.

She told the court she believed she was a safe driver, but said while driving home after the crash she didn’t notice the car’s left headlight had been broken.

The inquest is expected to hear from Mr Harmon’s family.

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