Coroner's findings into Sarah Paino's death handed down

Daniel Stirling, Sarah Paino and their son Jordan.
Daniel Stirling, Sarah Paino and their son Jordan.

Sarah Paino died in a “terrible motor vehicle crash” in the early hours of January 22, 2016, a coroner has found.

Coroner Simon Cooper released his findings into Ms Paino’s death on Thursday.

“The vehicle she was driving, in which her two-year-old son Jordan was a passenger in a booster seat in the rear, was rammed in central Hobart by a speeding stolen vehicle driven by an unlicensed 15-year-old driver who ran a red light,” he said.

Ms Paino was 33 weeks pregnant at the time.

She had dropped her partner, Daniel Stirling, off at work before the crash and was on her way home.

“Ms Paino and Mr Stirling were excited about the impending birth of their second child,” Mr Cooper said.

“It is quite clear that they were a happy family and she a loving and devoted mother.”

Mr Cooper said Ms Paino suffered massive injuries to her neck and chest as a result of the crash.

“The Tasmanian State Forensic Pathologist, Dr Christopher Lawrence, who later performed an autopsy on Ms Paino's body, said the injury to her neck would have been rapidly fatal and was completely unsurvivable.”

Emergency services personnel were on the scene almost immediately after the crash and Ms Paino still had some cardiac output.

She was extracted from the car by Tasmania Fire Service personnel and rushed to the Royal Hobart Hospital by ambulance.

An emergency caesarean section was performed and her baby was saved.

“All resuscitation attempts ceased shortly after the baby, another son, Caleb, was delivered,” Mr Cooper said.

“The evidence is that Ms Paino died almost instantly, but due to the outstanding efforts of the emergency service responders and medical staff at the Royal Hobart Hospital, her baby was able to be safely delivered.

“All those emergency service responders - police officers, fire service personnel and ambulance paramedics - and medical staff, are responsible for the fact that Caleb was able to be brought safely into the world.”

Mr Cooper did not make any recommendations at the conclusion of his findings.

He thanked Senior Constable Kelly Cordwell for her investigation and report, and extended his “sincere condolences” to Ms Paino’s family and friends.