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Drunk Tasmanian woman crashes into tree at high speed minutes after stopping to buy beer

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Koskovic crashed on Henty Road at the Henty River Bridge, pictured, on January 14, 2023. Image / Pulse

A receptionist who was stopped by police for speeding at 143km/h in a 100km/h zone just over an hour before she crashed into a tree was likely “significantly intoxicated” at the time, a coroner has found.

Emma Louise Koskovic, 35, was killed almost immediately in the crash on Henty Road near Strahan on January 14, 2023.


Coroner Olivia McTaggart said Koskovic was pulled over by officers on the Murchison Highway while rushing to Strahan for a “medical emergency” involving her partner.

McTaggart said as she showed no signs of intoxication, police allowed her to continue her journey without undertaking a breath test, instead only issuing a speeding ticket as she had agreed to slow down.

After being sent on her way, a motorist who passed Koskovic while she was stopped with police reported seeing her vehicle overtaking them a short time later at a speed estimated to be above the speed limit.

Koskovic passed through Rosebery before travelling towards Strahan. Image / Pulse

19 minutes after she was pulled over, Koskovic stopped at the Top Pub bottle shop in Rosebery and bought two cans of beer.

After leaving the shop, she was seen by a second witnesses overtaking a car while traffic hurtled towards her.

A third witness said Koskovic’s vehicle crossed the centre line into their lane, forcing them to swerve to avoid a collision and reported seeing her reaching down near the front driver’s seat as she passed.


McTaggart said a crash analysis revealed Koskovic entered a left sweeping curve at the Henty River Bridge on Henty Road minutes later at high speed, causing her vehicle to slide across the opposite lane and into an embankment.

She was found by a registered nurse with no pulse.

The crash investigator estimated Koskovic was driving at least 127km/h in the 65km/h zone and found her phone was found playing loud music in the driver’s seat pocket.

“I am satisfied that the road, vehicle and weather conditions did not contribute to the crash,” McTaggart said.

Tasmania Police car on the Murchison Highway. Image / Pulse (File)

“Samples from an autopsy revealed that Ms Koskovic had a very high blood alcohol concentration (at least 0.222g/100ml). Numerous empty cans of beer were found in her vehicle.”

McTaggart said she was satisfied Koskovic had consumed a significant amount of alcohol before being stopped by police and continued drinking while driving, but determined the officers did not have reasonable grounds to suspect she was driving under the influence of alcohol.

“Ms Koskovic’s demeanour and conduct throughout the interaction did not indicate that she was intoxicated,” she said.

“She was articulate, appeared to understand the severity of her conduct and her explanation for her stress and speed was understandable.”

Tasmania Police officers conduct, a random breath test operation. Image / Pulse

McTaggart said police also had the authority to randomly breath test Koskovic but the decision not to do so was reasonable.

“I am satisfied that [the officers] performed their duties correctly and exercised their powers appropriately,” she said.

“Ms Koskovic’s death was solely a result of her consumption of alcohol and her excessive speed.”

“She persisted in driving recklessly, at speed and in breach of the law despite being intercepted by police officers for travelling well in excess of the speed limit.”

“It is fortunate in the circumstances that no other motorists were killed or injured.”

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