News State Tasmania Tasmania L-plater killed himself and infant daughter fleeing booze bus: coroner

Tasmania L-plater killed himself and infant daughter fleeing booze bus: coroner

Alex Peart died with little Ruby Rose as he fled a breath-test bus. His partner, Xanna Weavell, survived with serious injuries. Photo: ABC
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A young dad’s impulsive decision to flee a booze bus led to a fiery Hobart car crash that claimed his life and that of his two-year-old daughter.

Alexander Alfred Peart was driving at Sorell in Tasmania with his partner and daughter Ruby Rose when they crashed into a pole in September 2015.

The 18-year-old learner driver made the “impulsive” decision to flee a random breath-testing site, Coroner Olivia McTaggart said in a report into the crash published on Friday.

“It appears that Mr Peart’s decision was impulsive and a result of panic and immaturity,” she found, noting he was not accompanied by a licensed driver and had recently used cannabis.

“He therefore turned off the headlights on the vehicle, performed a U-turn and drove away at high speed and making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.”

Ruby Rose was trapped and died in the back seat of the fiery wreck. Photo: ABC

Police took up pursuit for a short time but had ceased their chase when officers spotted flames from the crash in the distance.

The Holden Vectra was torn in two and Mr Peart thrown 26 metres from the front of the vehicle while the back of the car erupted in flames.

“Ruby was located restrained in her child seat in the rear passenger side of the vehicle. She was severely burnt and deceased,” Ms McTaggart wrote.

The coroner could not be certain of Mr Peart’s reasons for avoiding the breath-test station, although his partner recalls he had consumed alcohol earlier in the day.

“It may have been due to his unaccompanied learner’s licence status or because he had recently smoked cannabis,” Ms McTaggart found.

She said the decision resulted in a “needless” loss of life and if he had stopped at the booze bus he may have faced only minor charges.