Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Police Car In Fatal Pile-Up In North Shore - Updated

The day after police minister Judith Collins called police joyrides on Target Road Primary's playing fields a "bit of fun" and said she wasn't concerned by it (See "Collins backs police joyrides at school gala") a police car has been involved in a multi-vehicle crash in Albany, North Shore.

North Shore is the same borough that Target Road School is in.

At least one person has been killed and another is in hospital. One report said:
"The collision happened as a police car was passing through the intersection, which has been left scattered with glass and debris.Vehicles involved include a courier van and a jeep.
Prime News reporter Greta Lawson said the police car had its siren on at the time of the crash. "It was a male police officer driving with a female police officer in the passenger seat. And it was not a pursuit - the police here have told us that they were on their way to a different job."

One of five vehicles involved was on its roof and another was a police car, a witness told Radio New Zealand."

View Larger Map, the junction was close to Pinehurst School
Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased person and the other people injured in the incident.

One eye witness gave a calm and frank account of the crash to a Herald reporter - watch the video HERE.  She said she saw the cop car coming the opposite direction with its lights on at a very high speed and hit the black truck, the truck then came down on another car, the cop car then hit another two cars, hit her and travelled another 50/60 metres down the road, fortunately she was unharmed though shaken. Her account seems very different to the official press release issued to Voxy earlier in the day.

The Voxy release did say that an elderly male motorist died in the incident. We'd like to offer deepest sympathies to his family.

734 Police cars crashed in the last year
Figures obtained by the Dominion Post under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that:
"734 police cars have crashed in the past year, only 61 crashed while pursuing speeding vehicles.

Officers involved in car crashes, which included scrapes and dings, were usually dealt with through infringement notices, although court action was brought in serious cases.

In 2008, Auckland Constable Aaron Holmes was convicted of aggravated careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury after an accident outside a primary school* in 2007. He crashed into a street lamp, which fell on the head of a teenager and left him in a coma. Holmes was travelling 80kmh in a 50kmh zone for no good reason.

Four officers in the past five years faced serious criminal convictions such as manslaughter."
*Owairaka Primary on Richardson Road.

The death toll on New Zealand's roads so far this year was at 38 yesterday, already higher than January and February combined last year.

For background see yesterday's post "Police cars "joyriding" on school playing fields"

Today's posts - click here

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