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Fixter, Barbara Louise (1926–1949)

The inquest on Barbara Louise Fixter (23), wife of the programme director of a commercial radio station, who was fatally injured in a smash at the intersection of William and Newcastle streets on November 24 at about 11.30 pm, was opened before the City Coroner (Mr. R. P. Rodriguez) in the Perth Court house yesterday. Mrs. Fixter was one of the passengers in the rear of a small tourer car driven by Geoffrey Manion, radio announcer.

The driver of a sedan car, which was alleged to have collided with Manion's car, was Alfred Charles Evans Downing, welder of Charles street, North Perth. Mr C. Drake-Brockman is appearing on behalf of Downing. Mr. W. Holmes for the relatives of the deceased and Mr B. G. Marshall for the National Insurance Company of New Zealand. Sgt.—F. W. Reilly is assisting the Coroner.

Of the twenty-two witnesses who are concerned in the case, 12 gave evidence yesterday. The inquest was adjourned until 10 a.m. today.

Evidence was given that the sedan car was driven along Newcastle street on the wrong side of the road and that it slowed down, but did not stop, at the intersection with William-street when it ran into the rear part of the car driven by Manton along William Street. The driver of the sedan, after staying about three or four minutes, continued his journey.

Leslie Harcourt Cornell, electrician, of Oxford-street, Leederville, said the driver of the sedan car appeared to be dazed and his passenger to be agitated. Another witness, Edwin Colston Osgood, of William street, Perth, said the sedan car smelt strongly of liquor and the licensee of the North Perth Hotel, Charles Henry Ogden, said Downing and three other men had been drinking beer in the hotel up to just before 7 p.m. on November 24 but appeared to be sober.

In an alleged statement to Traffic Constable D. C. Goddard, Downing said he was driving the car and a friend, Jack Cullen, and a woman were in the rear seat. On arrival at the William Street intersection he pulled up and then started across in low gear. He saw the small car but considered he had ample time to cross the intersection. After the accident he said he went across to the small car and gave his name and the number of his car. He drove off because he was told the woman in his own car was hurt and he wanted to take her home. He later returned to the scene.

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'Fixter, Barbara Louise (1926–1949)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/fixter-barbara-louise-14387/text25460, accessed 7 December 2021.

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