No seatbelt killed Roma teen: coroner
A CORONER has found that a teen killed near Chinchilla last year was not wearing a seatbelt and she may have survived the crash if she had been wearing one.
Emily Jade Payne, 16, was killed instantly on July 6 from extensive head trauma when the car she was a passenger in veered off Cameby Rd and slammed into a tree.
The inquest held earlier this year heard Miss Payne had been travelling home to Roma after spending the weekend in Brisbane looking for a formal dress.
Emily's cousin, P-plater Jessica Littlewood, 21, was the driver of the vehicle and had only held her provisional licence for six and a half months before the crash.
Ms Littlewood was also injured in the crash but managed to free herself from the twisted wreck and called emergency services.
Coroner John Lock said on Friday he could not determine the full circumstances surrounding the crash because Ms Littlewood declined to provide him, or the police, any statements despite several requests.
She believed that in doing so could incriminate her.
"It is clear Emily was not wearing her seatbelt at the time," he said.
"Over the past six years 35% of the 1623 lives lost on Queensland roads happened in circumstances where the deceased person was not wearing a seatbelt.
"It is clear that not wearing a seatbelt is a significant contributing factor to road fatalities and it is unclear why people are still choosing not to wear a seatbelt."
Mr Lock expressed his condolences to Miss Payne's parents, family and friends but did not make any recommendations.
- APN NEWSDESK.