A 34-year-old woman who died in a single-car crash north of Launceston in 2018 had been driving unlawfully for a decade before her death, a Tasmanian coroner has found.
Catherine Clara Arundel-Clarke died as the result of significant cerebral trauma sustained when she lost control of the van she was driving while negotiating a downhill curve 500 metres south of the junction of Tunnel Road at Lebrina on March 24, 2018.
The van flipped on its right side and slid 6.2 metres before rolling twice over a distance of 11.8 metres through a farm wire fence.
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The only passenger, the driver's 10-year-old daughter Thylacine who had been seated in the middle-row seat behind the driver, escaped the van without serious injury.
In her findings, Coroner Olivia McTaggart said Mrs Arundel-Clarke's inability to competently drive a motor vehicle was the major cause of the crash.
"For a reason unknown, but likely because of lack of adequate driving skill, she drove the van to the far left of the road whilst exiting the curve," Ms McTaggart said.
"Her subsequent harsh application of the breaks and steering input demonstrated a panicked response to the potential loss of control of the van.
"This response caused a full loss of control and significantly contributed to the crash."
Ms McTaggart said poor tread depth and the worn nature of the van's tires contributed to Mrs Arundel-Clarke's inability to regain control of the van.
At the time of her death Mrs Arundel-Clarke had been driving unlawfully, for reason of absence or a supervisor driver or absence of a current licence, for 10 years.
Ms McTaggart said the deceased first gained a learner's licence in 2008, which she renewed annually, and failed to renew after it expired on March 24, 2014.
"Despite only having a learner's licence, Mrs Arundel-Clarke would drive without an authorised supervisor and did not display her L plates on her vehicle," Ms McTaggart said.
"[After 2014] she continued driving without any form of current licence. She would drive on five or six days every week."
Ms McTaggart said Mrs Arundel-Clarke should have been aware through past attempts to progress to a provisional licence of her inadequate driving skills.
"She should have also been aware that her lack of skill could well pose serious risks to the safety of herself, her young children and other road users," Ms McTaggart said.
"It is incredibly fortunate that her young daughter survived the crash unhurt."