Thursday, December 29, 2011

Victorian police involved in deadly car chase admit speeding at almost 180km/h

POLICE involved in the deadly car chase of a teenager have been forced to admit they were speeding at almost 180km/h through suburban streets. Their admission came after hi-tech data proved their original statements were false.

In a Victorian first, investigators and international experts took GPS data from the officers' vehicle to prove they were going much faster than they told several inquiries - including an internal ESD inquiry, an OPI probe and a coronial hearing. Two officers could now be referred to the DPP, with the crash killing the young driver and leaving an innocent driver maimed.

Only after being presented with GPS evidence in the Coroner's Court case did the officers admit statements regarding the chase were wrong.

There are now calls for high-speed chases to be reviewed following the death of 19-year-old father of one Shane Bennett.

Mr Bennett's family said while he "absolutely" should have pulled over, he paid the "highest penalty for his stupid decision" and the "dangerous chase" contributed to his death in 2008.

The two officers leading the chase, Senior Constables Cameron Orr and Michael Bednarczyk, are awaiting Coroner Peter White's findings.

The Herald Sun can reveal Sen-Constable Orr was not licensed by Victoria Police to drive more than 150km/h, but admitted in court to reaching 177km/h before Mr Bennett crashed.

The chase began after a police car sighted Mr Bennett's unregistered car, sporting cardboard licence plates, in Frankston, the court heard. He was not wanted for any other reason.

The chase wove through the back streets of Seaford, with Mr Bennett running at least two red lights at more than 100km/h.

The officers were ordered to cease the chase about 15 seconds before Mr Bennett went through another red light - this time crashing into Diane McCready, leaving her with critical injuries. Mr Bennett died in hospital after suffering head and internal injuries.

Ms McCready and Mr Bennett's mother have called for a review of police chase protocols.

The officers originally said they pulled over after hearing command calls for them to stop, the court heard. But after being shown GPS data, they later admitted in court they were still "moving" 15 seconds after the abandon-chase call.

A witness originally complained to the OPI, claiming police were still chasing Mr Bennett when he hit Ms McCready, but that claim was not proved.

Under questioning from counsel assisting the coroner, Tony Burns, the officers denied they ignored important safety measures.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Spammers: Don't bother. Irrelevant comments won't be published