Snapchat video scrutinised in fatal crash inquest
A SNAPCHAT video and a man who claimed to be the last person to see two men before they were involved in a fatal car crash, were on Wednesday the focus of the inquest into the death of Croydon man Damon Edward McCoy.
Mr McCoy and Nick Michael Rogers, 29, were in a Toyota Landcruiser when it crashed about 17km south of Croydon on July 21, 2016.
Mr McCoy died at the scene. Mr Rogers survived the high-speed rollover and was later found injured and naked in the area.
A key inquest issue is determining who was driving the Landcruiser before the crash.
The Cairns Coroners Court heard that Mr McCoy sent a 10-second Snapchat video to close friend Anna Stratford.
Ms Stratford testified the video showed a "panoramic" panning of the Landcruiser's cabin before the crash.
She said she saw Mr McCoy as the passenger and got a "clear view" of Mr Rogers as the driver.
The court heard Ms Stratford did not tell others, including her mother and Mr McCoy's sister, about the video until days later because of her grief about Mr McCoy's death.
"When I woke up next morning, I was a bit of a mess in finding out all the information. I was very vague to her (mum)," she said.
"My biggest concern was the family … not to put ideas in anybody's head about who drove."
Coroner Nerida Wilson said that while she acknowledged Ms Stratford was experiencing a significant loss, she was confused by why Ms Straford did not tell anyone about the video until later.
"It just strikes me as unusual when asked directly by Damon's sister, who herself is in the deepest grief and clearly wanting to know who was driving, why you simply didn't say 'I've got a video, I saw Nick Rogers driving'," Ms Wilson said.
Noel Pickering, who runs an earthmoving company in the township, told the court he saw Mr Rogers in the driver's seat as the LandCruiser went past him about 6pm that day.
Mr Pickering said he learnt about the fatal crash from his brother the next morning.
He then joined authorities in the search and found Mr Rogers a few kilometres from the crash site.
The court heard Mr Pickering did not tell Mr McCoy's father, Michael, nor police about what he had seen until "many, many months" later.
Under questioning by Mr Rogers' lawyer, Scott Moon, about why he notified police about 10 months after the incident, Mr Pickering said he was busy with work and that he could not make an appointment with police.
Mr Rogers is set to give evidence on Thursday when the inquest enters its third and final day.
Originally published as Snapchat video scrutinised in fatal crash inquest