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Pyalong inquest

  • Pyalong inquest

Coroner says drugs and inexperienced led to deadly Pyalong crash

A Victorian coroner believes a car accident which claimed the lives of four Echuca-Moama men in 2015 was the direct result of inexperience and drugs.

On January 28, 2015, Josh Taylor was driving a car under the influence of amphetamine and meth amphetamine when the Holden sedan he was driving left the road, became airborne, rolled and hit a tree, killing himeself and passengers Chris Reddin, Nick Mongta and Corey Bray.

The inquest heard from Dr Morris Odell who said that at 1.0mg per litre of blood, Mr Taylor had a had an ‘extremely high’ level of meth amphetamine in his blood and would had severely affected his ability to drive.

The four men were driving their car north on the Northern Highway when the accident occured about 6.30am.

Fixed speed cameras found the car to be speeding at 2.07am, 5.27am and 5.50am before the accident.

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Experts claim the vehicle's movements before the accident would suggest Mr Taylor was asleep, unconscious or severely affected by drugs or alcohol, as there was no sign or steering or braking before the crash.

The court heard the vehicle had crossed into the southbound lane, hit a guard rail and then became airborne near an uphill left-hand bend.

Under cross examination, questions were raised as to the performance of the guard rails.

Evidence was given that the rails were not designed to prevent cars coming from the opposite lane.Coroner Peter White would go on to rule that VicRoads was not to blame for the accident.

In handing down his findings, Mr White found that all four men in the car were affected by drugs and that police found drugs in the car after the accident.

Mr Taylor's youth and inexperience behind the wheel added to the problem, however ruled out any long-term affects from a separate accident Mr Taylor was involved in just two months before his death.