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Report On 2005 Triple Fatality Crash In Taranaki

Report On 2005 Triple Fatality Crash In Taranaki

The Police report into the triple fatality crash at Normanby, South Taranaki, on 14 August 2005 has been released today by Superintendent Lammas, District Commander for the Central Police District.

Superintendent Lammas said, "Despite some errors in police tactics that evening, people should be in no doubt that it is Mr Hansen who is responsible for the three deaths and two serious injuries caused to the young people who were in a van that Mr Hansen crashed into on the Normanby Overbridge."

"I have recently met the family members of those killed and those injured - and discussed with them the investigation."

"I have extended my sympathies and those of police members in my District to them all."

"I have told them that lessons have been learned by Police that have resulted in changes to our training - both nationally and within Central District."

Police staff at Hawera that evening applied a significant amount of resource and resolve in endeavouring to apprehend Mr Hansen. They believed, mistakenly, that their tactics would result in them arresting him in Princes Street, Hawera. Those officers are of course devastated by the crash - as I think we all are."

The failure of the Police radio communications, due to interference - most likely caused by someone somewhere in Taranaki accidentally depressing a transmit button on their radio - meant that in the crucial half minute when Mr Hansen returned to his car and drove off, police staff deployed in the field to stop him, were unaware he had driven off."

"Many things were done right - but there were some errors in tactics, specifically:

too great a reliance on radio communications

utilising a plan that allowed Mr Hansen to become mobile

no effective cordon as a back up."

As a result of this investigation the Training Service Centre of New Zealand Police is developing some additional training material in tactical considerations, particularly in respect of drink driving detection and apprehension."

"The Coroner will hold Inquests next week at Hawera. His report will follow."

"Office of the Commissioner will undertake a review of the investigation I have had undertaken and of my findings. In due course it will also be reviewed by the Police Complaints Authority."

"My findings are therefore preliminary findings."

"The reasons why I have released the report are to reduce speculation and to provide as much certainty to family members of the deceased and injured, as well as to others."

"The reason for the length of time that it has taken to conclude the investigation is that it has involved many interviews and sometimes people have had to be re-interviewed; there have been technical matters to complete; I have met with police officers involved and also with the two young people injured in the crash as well as their families and the families of the three young people killed."


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