Coroner to rule on car park inquest
IT could be one of Dreamworld tragedy coroner James McDougall's next grim tasks - probing the death of a Strictly Ballroom actor in a freak tragedy at a Gold Coast shopping centre.
Jo Shintah, a former competitive ballroom dancer who featured in Baz Luhrman's 1992 hit film, died in controversial circumstances in a carpark accident at Pacific Fair in August 2016.
Pacific Fair owners AMP had just introduced paid parking as part of a $670 million redevelopment, angering shoppers and centre staff and causing chaos and confusion.
Ms Shintah, 61, died as she tried to pick up a parking ticket at the newly installed boom gate.
She was believed to have been torn from her car after accidentally hitting the accelerator and slamming head first into the ticket box.
At the time, her family said they were distressed at reports of a another accident in the car park where Ms Shintah died.
Before the tragedy, shoppers had taken to social media to complain of difficulties with the new parking system, including problems operating the boom gate.
The Gold Coast Bulletin revealed that the police report into the tragedy was presented to Mr McDougall's office last month.
"He is currently reviewing the documents before making a decision as to whether to hold an inquest," a Coroners Court spokeswoman said.
Mr McDougall has his hands full with the inquest into the deaths of four tourists on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride in October 2016.
After an initial two weeks of sittings in June, the inquest will resume in early October for a further fortnight of hearings. A final sitting is planned for November.