Help in coping:
When someone dies in a road accident

Kristine Alilunas Rodgers 1999, 2000

ACT Magistrates Court



In memory of Colin Rodgers. To all those who have died on Canberra’s roads. For all those bereaved by a road accident in Canberra, and for those helping them.


This information kit would not have been possible without the cooperation of many in the community; their assistance is gratefully acknowledged in each booklet.

The NRMA - ACT Road Safety Trust provided funding for research and writing of this information kit, a draft version of which was prepared in 1998 under the auspices of the National Association for Loss and Grief (ACT). The Trust’s assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

This electronic version was made possible thanks to the ACT Magistrates Court and Peter Hodge, who helped to convert some of the files to Adobe Acrobat.


This information kit is designed as a guide, not as legal advice. Every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of the kit at the time of publication. Readers should be aware that policies and procedures of the organisations referred to in this kit, and laws or prices, where relevant, may change after publication.

Use of this material

Material in this information kit may be down loaded and used for a non-profit purpose as long as you do not make any changes or additions and you include full publishing details (author, title, date, funding source, publisher and Web site).


Until they suffer the personal loss of a family member in a road accident, most people have no experience of the coronial system or of the many other issues that will face them.

The ‘Help in coping’ information kit tells you what happens, what you can do and where you can find help. I endorse this kit as a most useful guide for bereaved people and those who wish to help them.

Ron Cahill, ACT Chief Coroner


Click the link below corresponding to the booklet or information sheet you wish to open.


1    Immediately after the death: police and coronial procedures (PDF 231KB)

2    The first week: notifications and funeral arrangements (PDF 233KB)

3    The first months: practical, insurance, legal and financial matters (PDF 582KB)

4    Preparing for the hearing and learning how the death happened (PDF 281KB)

5    Remembrance and mourning (PDF 38KB)

6    Suggested readings (PDF 92kb)

7    The funeral: services, prices and contact information (PDF 140KB)

Information charts

Coronial and other procedures following a fatal road accident (chart) (PDF 16KB)
Some commonly reported experiences of grief following a sudden, unexpected death (chart) (PDF 19KB)